Charles Dickens’ Messages to Ones With No Christmas Cheer
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic. It is story with special Christmas cheer with a little bit of horror mixed in. Several adaptations can be seen in media today, including several plays, the adaptation with the Muppets and even an adaptation from Disney. Obviously A Christmas Carol left an impact several forms of media, but the true impact is whether one gets a message from this story.
In order to get the message, one must know what the story is about. It starred a character named Ebenezer Scrooge, a man embittered by his lonely childhood and the death of his partner, Jacob Marley. He was also a greedy man who cares about making money. He particularly hates Christmas, as he feels that it only makes him a year older and not an hour richer. On Christmas Eve, he was visited by the ghost of Marley, warning him that three more spirits will visit Scrooge at the stroke of one. Scrooge was indeed visited by those three spirits, showing him the past, present, and future. At the end of the story, Scrooge became kinder and more charitable.
If there is one message that came across, it is that to not let your past affect you. Scrooge was embittered by his childhood which was shown by the Ghost of Christmas Past. He was also affected by the death of his partner. Because of this, he became bitter and even angry at the charitable contributions around Christmas time. This gave birth to an infamous catchphrase “Bah Humbug!”
One can also get another message from this literary work and that is to be thankful for what you have and not to take it for granted. The Ghost of Christmas Past showed his several visions, some of them shown with his sister. In one vision, it is shown that Scrooge may not have loving parents, but he did have a loving sister. When Scrooge started his business, a woman who is presumably his love interest saw a change in Scrooge and walked out of the business, which may have led to the partnership with Jacob Marley. In the latter vision, he may have took his sister for granted, evidenced in his change from a kind boy to a greedy, bitter man. In the opening stave, he was even bitter to his nephew.
Another lesson would be to learn from mistakes of others. Before Scrooge’s partner, Jacob Marley, died, he too was a selfish miser who did not see the error of his ways before it was too late. Now paying the consequences of his actions, he warned his once-partner Scrooge of the three visits. Because Marley thought that money is everything, he now has to walk among the living stuck in limbo.
Each of the three ghosts carried at least one message for Scrooge. For example, The Ghost of Christmas Past showed that the past can represent the wisdom or experience that one has gained from the past. That spirit taught us that in order to improve the present and future, one has to let go of the past mistakes and keep the lessons learned from it. Scrooge realizes that he was a miserable, lonely and greedy old man by clinging to the past hardships, including the death of his sister and the rejection of his love interest. In the end, he resolved to be a better person by helping the poor and needy, instead of relying on the Poor Act.
The Ghost of Christmas Present taught us that being wealthy is not as important as being happy. By becoming more concerned with money, Scrooge took everything for granted, which led to him being rejected by the woman he loves. By having Scrooge observe the Cratchit family, Scrooge learned that money cannot buy happiness. Instead, true happiness comes from love and family.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come also taught Scrooge that money is not everything. Instead, it can alienate you from people. The spirit did not say anything to Scrooge. Instead he only pointed to his would-be gravesite if he did not change his ways and let go of the legacy of being a bitter, greedy old man. By showing his dire fate, Scrooge took all the lessons he learned from the spirits and woke up come Christmas Day with a new lease on life.
Throughout this story, Ebenezer Scrooge learned that Christmas is not a time for making money. It is a time for sharing, warmth, family and love. It is also a time for family, because they are the most important things that one has. In the end, Scrooge became a kind and thoughtful person to others. He changed himself and he changed his business by giving Bob Cratchit a raise on his salary.
Throughout the story, Scrooge was awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his lonely past, his cruel present and his dire future if he did not change his ways. In the end, Scrooge chose to redeem himself over death. His last words to the spirit is this: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
All of these messages may not show up at once. There may just be one message that one receive by reading this story. But the bottom line is that A Christmas Carol made a bigger impact in the media because all of these messages that are received are ones that we should hold dear. It is a timeless classic and I am glad that I can finally say that I read A Christmas Carol.