Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
Christmas short stories for students are so modern with Kindle!Combining vintage mood with techie cool,the pocket reader Christmas Carol is perfect for internet-savvy teens needing fresh ways to study the history,literature and politics of Dickens Victorian England via short story technique and style.
Short stories or novellas such the classic Christmas Carol story, can also help English Lit students with history and politics.Indeed, in order to fully understand and 'get' the story, short story students need to study the historical context. Teachers may find the Kindle invaluable for quick research reads and lesson plan notes, for example while commuting.
Christmas lesson plans could include a study of sociological issues at the time of the novella - a time when rich and poor may as well have lived on different planets. Very few rich privileged readers would have crossed the bar into the lives and environment of the poor and vice-versa. But Dickens was different. Having experienced both poverty and wealth, he was able to see both sides - the horrendous scraping of poverty and the rich gluttony of the high life. This is hard for students to imagine today, as we now have docu-soaps taking us into the life of celebs even if we don't live in that world ourselves.
Short story students may be shocked to learn that for the dirt poor, life expectancy was only 22, and that up to fifty per cent of children died before the age of ten. For English Lit students Learning this, suddenly Tiny Tim will not seem so irrelevant. In contrast, the rich employers like Scrooge got richer and fatter and more ignorant of the social deprivation and pain of enslaved employees like Cratchit. How easy it was to rake in huge profits whilst paying staff a pittance too small to keep a family in bread and coal.
Poor Cratchit only got fifteen shillings every week, probably only half of what a family needed to keep themselves afloat, let alone healthy. Yet Dickens shows the nobility of a poor family all pulling together to do what little they could. Martha put her little bit on the table and they all knew that Peter's chance of a better life would be non-existent if he gave up education to put his child labour pittance into the tiny pot too.
They all know, but are too naturally courteous, to allude to the fact that they must carry a brother who would probably never be able to pay them back or pay his way. They also had the worry of his prospects and welfare, should he live, after his parents' death. Yet Scrooge has the gall to accuse them of gratuitous overspending during the rest of the year - living beyond their means (the means he provides them with.) Dickens knew that even the Cratchits were better off those at the bottom of the heap - those of the workhouse and gaol. He had had experience of both after all - and a brief look at his biography would be most beneficial for students of Victorian literature - also available on Kindle for teacher or student advanced literary research.
Dickens shows how even Scrooge is a victim of the hard times and of his upbringing under the Victorian system, and gives him a chance of redemption, a chance of replacing harsh Puritanical joyless attitudes with the true happiness of Christmas. There is almost a threat in the novella somewhere, that unless this was forthcoming, rebellion, revolt and revolution might ensue. The French after all, engineered their own painful solution.
There are other Christmas short stories for students on the Kindle reader, and much reference material concerning Charles Dickens.A Christmas Carol is perfect for the season, but Dickens is not only about Christmas. The novella is a great introduction to the treasury Of Dickens' more advanced works and for gifted students to study for internet-savvy teens needing fresh ways to study English novel technique and style.
Christmas short stories for students are so modern with Kindle!Combining vintage with techie cool,the pocket reader Christmas Carol is perfect for internet-savvy teens needing fresh ways to study the history,literature and politics of Dickens Victorian England via short story technique and style.