A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol In Pose: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles Dickens (1843)

A Christmas Carol is a short (120pgs, five chapters) story about a rather grumpy man named Ebeneezer Scrooge. Mr. Scrooge is snide to his clerk, rude to door-to-door almoners, and a beast to his sole remaining family member. On Christmas eve one cold year, Mr. S. is visited by an old, dead, financial partner who predicts further ghostly company. Three ghosts later (Past, Present, and Future) Mr. S. is a changed man and everyone’s favorite neighbor, co-worker, uncle and friend.

The tale is a fun romp through a colorful Dickensonian Christmas, complete with dark bits. Lively characterization (some of the time) and evocative detail make it fun to read. Although the book is not gripping some of the scenes, such as the Cratchit’s dinner and the scene at Old Joe’s, are compelling.

Unfortunately, the point of the story is that Scrooge changed, and I’m not convinced he has. Scrooge is shaken out of his complacency by the ghost of Christmas Past and kicked repeatedly in the face with potential consequences by the ghost of Christmas Future. That leaves the ghost of Christmas Present to tie Scrooge into his new value system, so that he’ll keep being a better person even after the fear and euphoria wear off. Problem is, Present didn’t. I’m left doubting that new, generous Scrooge will last the week.


In summary: Grumpy Scrooge undergoes lasting change? I don’t buy it. So don’t buy it. (You can get it for free anyway )


One thought on “A Christmas Carol

  1. That’s the problem with ghosts, see: they’re mighty good at moralizin’, but they ain’t got no stayin’ power. Strange, considerin’ how they ain’t really goin’ anywhere. Y’figure they got nothin’ better t’do.

    Then again, there’s plenty o’mean-spirited folk out there. Mayhap Present’s just grown weary of settin’ folk straight. I know it’d wear me down after a while to keep a couple o’ half-starved children ’round alla time just to make a point. (I swear — Present’s got a handy feast that comes ’round with ‘im, can’t he spare a heel o’ bread or two?)


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