Let’s Read: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens is a classic holiday story. It was originally published as a novella and has been re-published multiple times as well as translated in several languages since its original publication date, 1843. From silent films to plays and even modern animation, there’s been well over a dozen adaptations of the original Dickens story.

A Christmas Carol opens introducing two main characters to the story: the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge and his former partner Marley. Scrooge is an old, grumpy money grubber with a bitter attitude and no Christmas spirit.

He became this way because he had a bad childhood. His father neglected him and as a young man, he developed a greed for money, eventually losing his fiance, friends, and joy.

His old business partner, Marley, is a sad ghost who died seven years prior and tries to help Scrooge avoid meeting the same fate. His greed matched his business partner’s and he died before he can gain redemption.

Marley tries to warn Scrooge about the importance of Christmas spirit. Soon after, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future. All take a different approach in helping him understand the importance of Christmas.

The Ghost of the Past takes him to his depressing and lonely childhood Christmases and ones celebrated in his early adulthood; he sees where he started losing his spirit and in place of it grew pure greed.

The Ghost of the Present shows not about Scrooge himself, but instead about the positivity and joy of his peers. Through this trial, he begins to learn and understand how to spread cheer. The ghost demonstrates kindness by spreading it everywhere he goes. He also explains how the abolition of ignorance and gluttony are the key to making the world better and everyone happy.

Finally, Scrooge meets the Ghost of the Future. This is the most terrifying and impacting of the three. The ghost shows the sad consequences and possible solution to the miser’s lack of kindness. Scrooge is shown that if he doesn’t truly change the terrible person he is, he will die alone, unmourned, and completely uncared for. He learns that he must give instead of take.

The end result of Scrooge’s journey results in a complete change of attitude. He learns to change his ways and give back to others. One way he expressed this was by helping out his kindest employee, Bob Cratchit. Cratchit’s son fell very ill, and Scrooge gave him the medicine to save his life.

Overall, the story is a bit “old-timely written”, but has a good plot and moral. A Christmas Carol is a good holiday read no matter what traditions you hold, because spreading kindness is important throughout the whole year.

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