The following extract is taken from stave three of A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is looking in at his nephew Fred’s Christmas party.
‘It was a great surprise to Scrooge, while listening to the moaning of the wind, and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss, whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge, while thus engaged, to hear a hearty laugh. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright, dry, gleaming room, with the Spirit standing smiling by his side, and looking at that same nephew with approving affability! “Ha, ha!” laughed Scrooge’s nephew. “Ha, ha, ha!” If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to know a man more blest in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew, all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance.’
Starting with this extract, How does Dickens show the importance of family in the novel?
- How the importance of family can be seen in the extract
- How the importance of family can be seen in the novel as a whole
(Addressing the second bullet point)
The importance of family can be seen quite clearly through Dickens’ portrayal of the Cratchit family. The reader gets a sense of togetherness as ‘all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth’. By using the word ‘all’, Dickens is implying that the whole family were happy in each other’s company and got on well. A ‘hearth’ is the area in front of the fireplace, symbolising warmth and comfort, which continues to portray the Cratchit’s as a happy and loving family, despite their financial situation. Queen Victoria was portrayed to the public as having a happy family life, therefore many aspired to have a strong family like hers, which can be seen in the way Dickens presents this family. This would create a warm and friendly tone, whilst inviting the reader to reflect on their own family situation.