Themes are underlying in most pieces of literature. A theme could be likened to a topic, main idea or underlying meaning.
Themes are particularly useful in highlighting to the reader key issues of the time, or things that were important to the author that they want to explore. Some themes are very obvious, and others are much more subtle.
In a Christmas Carol, Dickens tackles several key themes in his work. Some of the key themes we're going to look at are Christmas, Redemption and Social Injustice. We're also going to explore how themes develop through the novel.
Have a think... what do you know about Dickens, and why do you think these were themes that he wanted to include in his work?
Remember, it's always important to know a bit about the background of the authors you are studying. So... if you haven't already, why not create a fact file on Charles Dickens. It may change the way you read his famous works!
You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.