How does Dickens portray the Cratchit family?
What part does this family play in Dickens's intentions for this novel?
In Victorian times there was a big gap between middle and lower working class. The working day was 12-hours long, but during the winter the days were shorter because if the shorter daylight hours. They were disciplined a lot because if they were late for work then the gates would already be locked so they would loose their pay for that day. The life for the people that did work was better than the one of those who didn't. The conditions that they were working in were bad because there were children and women working long hours with dangerous equipment.
There were three different types of schools; Public schools, Charity schools, and Ragged schools. The ragged schools were for the children who lived on the streets and didn't have parents to run back to. A lot of the well-off people in Victorian times were concerned with the plight of the poor. There was a new law called The Poor Law, it meant that the out of work labourers were no longer able to get relief. Instead they were to go to the workhouse, they would be separated from their families and got fed the poorest food.
At thirteen years old Charles Dickens's father's business went bankrupt and he had to go and work in a blacking factory, he learnt of the terrible conditions that children were working in but by the time he was twenty-five he was a popular and successful writer. He then decided to let the rather wealthy people be aware of the conditions of the people who were not rich to raise money for them.
The Cratchit family play a big part in Dickens's Christmas carol. He mentions eight members of the family, Mrs Cratchit, Mr Cratchit (Bob), Martha, Belinda, Peter and the two little Cratchit's. Mrs Cratchit was dressed to look nice in an old dress that she had brought some ribbons to put on it because it was Christmas and she is making the most of what she has got and can afford. Dickens wrote '' Cratchit's wife, dressed out poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons'', the readers because of this, admire her.
Bob Cratchit was a clerk for Scrooge. His office was a ''Dismal little cell'' with a ''Very small fire, so very much smaller than it looked like one coal''. This is showing that he has bad work conditions but he has to keep his job as a clerk to earn enough money to look after him and his family. He is a very cheerful man with six happy children,...