A Christmas Carol - Book Report/Review Example

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The essence of the tale is supposed to be indictment of nineteenth century industrial capitalism. A narrow minded, miserly old man E. Scrooge is sitting in…
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A Christmas Carol
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Order 335103 Topic: A Christmas Carol
This is a novella by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) about a curmudgeon and the ghosts who visit him on the eve of Christmas. The essence of the tale is supposed to be indictment of nineteenth century industrial capitalism. A narrow minded, miserly old man E. Scrooge is sitting in his counting house on Christmas Eve. What sort of an individual he was? Charles Dickens describes his credentials thus: “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!” (Dickens, 1990, p, 2-3)
The Plot:
Scrooge’s nephew, Fred invites him to the annual Christmas party. In the meantime, two gentlemen arrive and request Scrooge for donation for the charity. The miser Scrooge does not oblige them and turns them away with an angry outburst, “Bah! Humbug! “Later the same day, he receives the frightening visitation of the ghost of Jacob Marley, his dead partner. He reveals to Scrooge his unfortunate suffering as a punishment for his greedy and self-serving life. His spirit has been condemned to loiter on Earth along with the weight of heavy chains. He urges Scrooge to mind his ways, lest he too will have to suffer the same fate. He cautions him that three spirits will visit him, one each a day, for the next three days.
The first spirit was a unique childlike phantom with a bright glowing head. It takes Scrooge to revisit his childhood school days and his engagement to Belle which later was cancelled on account of his lust for money. She feels that Scrooge is an imperfect lover; he loves nothing but his money. The second spirit, a majestic giant clad in a green fur robe, takes him to the Christmas celebrations due later that year. His experiences there are novel and he learns many philanthropic lessons. He sees Bob Cratchit’s crippled son, Tiny Tim. Tim’s courage, kindness and humility touch Scrooge’s heart. Scrooge greatly enjoys the scene of jovial gathering of Christmas carnival. At the end of the day the spirit shows him two starved children, Ignorance and Want.
The third spirit takes him through a death scene. Scrooge sees businessmen discussing the dead man’s riches and poor persons expressing relief at the death of the cruel creditor, etc. Scrooge is anxious to know more about the dead man and pleads with the spirit. The spirit takes him to a grave and Scrooge is shocked to see his name inscribed at the headstone. That is his moment of transformation. He gives up his greedy lifestyle and promises to honor the true Christmas spirit. The totally reformed Scrooge treats fellow human beings with generosity and goodwill thereafter.
Guilt and Innocence: Ghosts in the story are compared to the main character’s conscience. The recollection of the past is not too happy for the protagonist, Scrooge. His social disposition is bad; he is unhelpful to good causes. He doesn’t even believe in charity for Christmas celebrations. His friend’s ghost turns out to be his philosopher and guide and he is lead to the road of transformation. True Humanity is another important theme depicted by Dickens. Through Christmas carol, Dickens reemphasizes Christian morality. He elucidates the importance of the quality of life and explains the importance of charity and generosity in day to day interactions. To love all and to be loved by all is the true index of greatness of one’s life.
Generosity of Spirit is discussed in depth in the novella. Generosity doesn’t’ mean doling out cash donations. It is goodwill and compassion towards the fellow human beings. Scrooge’s three day’s visit to various situations and personalities in the companionship of the spirits is nothing but a refresher’s course for him to mend his ways of working, before it becomes too late. Scrooge learns his lessons well in time, and turns out to be a totally transformed individual, a Good Samaritan.

Works Cited:
Dickens, Charles: A Christmas Carol; Tom Doherty Associates, New York, December 1990 Read More
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