A Classical Literature With A Bit Of Truth: A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens

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Classical literature with a bit of truth. The novella, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a story written in the Victorian era in the early 1800s. The story illustrates parts of his life, at a time in which he dealt with immense poverty in his early childhood. The story entails around Scrooge visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future in order to be a kinder and empathetic man. Charles Dickens utilizes each of the three ghosts to represent change which can be derived through experience of reliving certain memories, regret, and fear as means to inspire Scrooge. Without these felt, change is inevitable.

Memories often remind people of good times and bad times of life; reliving certain memories presented by the ghost of Christmas past, Scrooge can be seen inspired to change his life. The ghost first takes him to his early childhood when he is in school by himself while everyone is away for Christmas. As a child he felt quite lonely and can be described as “[a] solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still (15).” Charles Dickens demonstrates Scrooge’s sadness and abandonment, giving us a hint why he has bad relationship with people. Dickens shows a similar situation when he sees a young man asking for charity which makes Scrooge regretful: “[t]here was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something: that’s all (16).” The pain of Scrooge seeing a young boy made him regret by not giving something to the portly gentlemen. By being reminded of his past of how once Scrooge was a lonely child. Scrooge has forgotten of who he was as it is stated that he “sat down upon a form and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be (16).” Bringing such fond memory prompts Scrooge of his younger self of the person he once was, giving us the impression that he was different and not always a grumpy man. The ghost than brings to him another part of his childhood where Dickens uses his sister Fan to soften Scrooge’s heart. While everyone is going for Christmas break, Scrooge remains and his sister comes to bring home as stated: “I have come to bring you home, dear brother!” (17). Scrooge for most of his life rarely felt loved and from this life experience it could be said that Fan was the only friend of Scrooge and the only person that purely loved him for being him. Scrooge is reminded that Fan died by giving birth to his nephew “Fred”. He feels remorseful and guilty for not treating his nephew better.

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With the help of Christmas present, the story reveals regret is encouraging Scrooge to change by inspiring to be a better man. The spirit of Christmas present who can also be described as the ghost of Christmas spirit takes him to the city where everyone is getting prepared for Christmas. Scrooge sees the people carrying their dinner to the bakers’ shops and is concerned as the people are not allowed to keep stores open on Sundays. This made the lives of the poor even harder as the poor can’t afford a stove in which he says to the ghost “ you would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day, often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all, (26)”. This scene is quite contradictory as he previously described them as “surplus”. He previously showed lack of empathy towards everyone, in regards to how other’s felt. This scene establishes his concern and worries about people which was not seen before. The ghost takes Scrooge to Bob Cratchit where the family is having dinner and is shown that he is changing by showing deep concern about Tiny Tim. We see this from the following statement: “Tell me if Tiny Tim will live.” (29) Before this, Scrooge has never shown his worry or empathy to anyone else and hardly paid attention to the well being of Cratchit’s family. Previously, he told the men collecting charity that he was in support of penitentiaries, not charities, giving us an impression of how frugal he is. Yet somehow Scrooge is feeling saddened when he learns tiny Tim might die, making him regretful the way he treated Cratchit the night before. At the end of the stave, Scrooge has another moment of change and behaviour in his reaction towards ignorance and want. When describing the children, Scrooge shows signs of sadness and thoughtfulness, “Have they no refuge or resource?” in which the ghost than replies “Are there no prisons?” and “Are there no workhouses?”(34) This setting is important as the ghosts torments him with his own words as it associates his decision to live with ignorance and want. It is a reminder to him that he has a lot to apologize for, it indicates that he is changing but there is still some work to be done if he fully wants to rejuvenate himself to be a better man.

Fear plays an important role in Scrooge’s change; it can be seen as the final piece for Scrooge to change so he can redeem himself. He is petrified of the last ghost “I fear you more than any spectre I have seen as I hope to live to be another man from what I was and do it with a thankful heart” (36). Lastly, Scrooge is finally able to see, that life has nothing to do with money. The value of man lies in how he treats people and his companions, the impact he has on people. Soon after Scrooge begins to understand it is his own tombstone, he is frightened, cold and detached. Understanding his tragic fate, he becomes determined to be a better man. The ghost takes him to a moment of light about his own death in which he learns the value of his life. What Scrooge begins to understand through the lessons of the final spirt, is that he is worth nothing to anyone and he won’t have a lasting legacy, no one to care for him, but only people taking pleasure in his demise. When one of the people that owed debt to Scrooge got news he died, there was a sense of happiness as “she was thankful in her soul to hear it” (40). This scene clearly objectifies how cheap he was as a person. It can be taken that he showed little mercy to the people that owed debt to Scrooge. After going through these events, he understands how cold he was, how much he neglected his nephew from being a part of a family, and how badly and inconsiderately he treated Cratchit. He feels remorseful and guilty “am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!’ (42). Through the help of fear, Scrooge is willing to change to be a better man as he will “honour Christmas” and live to a better man. The story embodies the spirt of Christmas.


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