What is the background of the book A Christmas Carol?  

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Charles Dickens , who was a celebrity in his time, used his writing to emphasize the need for social change in nineteenth century England. Having experienced poverty and desolation as a child, and seeing the deplorable living and working conditions of the lower classes, he used his writing as a...

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Charles Dickens, who was a celebrity in his time, used his writing to emphasize the need for social change in nineteenth century England. Having experienced poverty and desolation as a child, and seeing the deplorable living and working conditions of the lower classes, he used his writing as a vehicle for social reform.

He was empowered to write A Christmas Carol after a visit to one of the many “ragged schools” that existed in England. During his visit to the Field Lane school located in the Saffron Hill district of London, he was dismayed at the appalling conditions. He had a particular interest in the education of the poorest, lowliest children, and this visit inspired him to begin a magazine article which developed into the book, A Christmas Carol. This book highlighted the feelings of the upper, wealthy class toward the poor and destitute in the character of Ebenezer Scrooge, who refused to make a donation to the needy on Christmas Eve. Instead Scrooge asks about the workhouses and prisons which he believed were vehicles of social reform. The plight of the poor but working class was developed in the Cratchit family who lived a humble existence without the money to care for their sick child.

Through Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly visitations, Dickens advances his concerns of what may happen to society in the absence of immediate changes – the poor getting poorer, the sick getting sicker, the lower classes trapped in a spiral of poverty, a widening gulf between those with much and those with little.

Charles Dickens cared deeply for the poor, uneducated youth of London and used his talents as a writer to bring notoriety to their plight.

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