Analysis of Character Development in A Christmas Carol


Readers have seen the world-renowned novel A Christmas Carol in numerous printings, adaptations, and movies. A Christmas Carol was published in 1843 by Charles Dickens. Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England, and died on June 9, 1870. He was known for his books about poverty, loneliness, and shame, all of which he experienced as a child. Dickens believed he could use his social position and writing to help the poor.  A Christmas Carol begins with a cranky, selfish, stingy man named Ebenezer Scrooge, who despises Christmas because of his lonely childhood. On Christmas Eve, the ghost of Scrooge’s dead business partner, Jacob Marley, warns Scrooge that his wrongs in life will burden him in his afterlife. This vision leads Scrooge on a journey with three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future. These ghosts lead him to realize that money cannot make him happy, but the spirit of giving can. When analyzing different genres for the character, setting, and plot development in A Christmas Carol, there is strong evidence to support that the novel genre is overall the most advantageous for readers.

The novel, A Christmas Carol, expresses character development through dialogue, which conveys thoughts, feelings, and actions. Character development is a tool used by writers to establish characters’ personalities and define clear motivations. As the novel progresses, authors can use character development to mature individuals’ personalities. For example, in A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge expresses a personality change through dialogue, as he sees his life pass before his eyes, “‘No spirit!... I am not the man I once was.… Why show me this if I am past all hope?”’(Dickens, 8-21). This quote shows Ebenezer Scrooge’s persona developing because it presents him in a new light: as a kind, now caring person, which contrasts with his previous, cruel personality. Novels are clearly the most advantageous for character development because of the frequent dialogue, which allows readers to familiarize themselves with the characters.

The novel, A Christmas Carol utilizes details to develop the setting. Setting development is a tool that helps authors immerse readers into a book through descriptions; this tool allows readers to visualize various stories’ backdrops. We see Charles Dickens, the author of A Christmas Carol, use this exact strategy when he writes, “‘…conveyed him to a dismal, wretched, ruinous, churchyard.” (Dickens 4-5). This quote uses adjectives such as dismal, wretched, and ruinous to connect with readers’ emotions and transport their minds into a new environment, therefore developing the setting. Novels are the most favorable for setting development because of the frequent adjectives and vivid details, which allow readers to visualize the background with ease. 

The novel, A Christmas Carol, uses narration to create suspense, which develops the plot. Authors use plot development to engage the reader by creating tension, which encourages the reader to continue. Charles Dickens uses this method in A Christmas Carol when he writes, “‘Scrooge crept toward it, trembling as he went,”’(Dickens 15). This quote demonstrates the development of the plot because it describes Scrooges’ actions and emotions, giving the reader an understanding of what is happening in the novel, and building suspense for the rest of the story. Ultimately, novels have the best plot development because of their persistent narration, which allows the author to create tension by altering the pace; this keeps the reader captivated by the book.

While there is strong evidence to support that the novel genre is the most advantageous, others may argue that the drama genre lends itself to more advantageous setting development. Readers see that the drama genre’s setting development is superior due to the details provided by the stage directions, “Future leads Scrooge to a wall and a tombstone. He points to the stone” (Horovitz 5-6). These stage directions allow readers to picture the setting through vivid descriptions of the scene. While the drama clearly expresses a detailed backdrop to the reader, the novel engages the reader more because it forces the reader to use their imagination, consequently creating a deeper connection between the reader and the story. Overall, through an abundance of adjectives, dialogue, and narration, the novel is the most captivating for readers. 

When analyzing character, setting, and plot development in stories, there is compelling ‌evidence‌ to support that the novel version of A Christmas Carol is the most worthwhile for readers. Due to their extensive dialogue and thorough description, novels contain effective character development and are the most beneficial for readers. Novels also develop a setting superior to that of their adaptations because of their vivid descriptions. Finally, frequent narration builds suspense and keeps readers engaged, giving novels the most favorable plot development. Readers choose to read novels because they provide entertainment, connect to the readers’ imaginations and experiences, and broaden their horizons.

 

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