Candles of Dickens in the Darkness of Victorian Era: Common Symbols in Christmas Books

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The aim of this study is to stylistically analyze the common symbols in Charles Dickens’s Christmas Books, which revived the Christmas spirit in the dark Victorian era. Experiencing the vast impacts of Industrial Revolution, people in Dickens’s time were suffering from the consequences of industrialism, poverty, class distinctions and shifting values within a dark world. Upon combining sentimentality towards human nature, Dickens, in his Christmas stories, revived a festival which faded away from English life during the 19th c. Through this blending of a Christmas spirit in the dark Victorian era, Dickens drew the desired picture of a better future for his readers. His ‘Dickensian’ style enables questioning and judging the discrepancies in the society and the defects of humanity while entertaining the reader with the concerns of family harmony, forgiveness, charity, happiness, compassion and Christmas joy. Yet instead of presenting his messages explicitly, in the deeper structure, Charles Dickens directs his readers through the messages with the use of symbols in his five Christmas stories. To this end, this study aims at clarifying the common symbols in the stories of Christmas Books to suggest that Dickens lights a candle via his stories for his readers who were imprisoned in the dark Victorian age.
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Archival date: 2019-06-12
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