A Christmas Carol
Differences Between “A Christmas Carol Novel” And “1951 Film Adaptation Scrooge”
Throughout the 1951 adaptation Scrooge, and the novel by Charles Dickens on which it is based, A Christmas Carol, several themes such as the supernatural and poverty are explored through the character of Scrooge. However, the film version makes room for many new aspects of his personality through actions not described in the book and differences to the original text. This essay will explore how the some of the film’s choices to add or extend scenes impacts the viewer’s perception of Scrooge. In the second stave Scrooge is visited by the first ghost, the Ghost of Christmas past. In the novel Dickens chooses to display four moments; the place where Scrooge grew up, the place in which he was an apprentice, people dancing happily during Christmas time and a husband telling his wife about seeing Scrooge sat alone.
Meanwhile in the movie, Scrooge’s memory of his apprenticeship is much longer as he is seen working, changing job and buying up the company. This longer view of his past not only establishes more clearly that he was poor as he discusses his poverty with his fiancé and shows that he became rich by buying the company, but it also allows for dialogues which reveal more about Scrooge’s past. For example, Scrooge states that “There is more in life than money” and he says that “Money isn’t everything”. This could be the director’s choice as to balance for the lack of figurative language present in the description that allows the reader to gain remarks about Scrooge’s character. The choice to show the same thought through two different ways at different times highlight how strongly he believed in this. The vision of Scrooge’s past may have also been prolonged to show how his character changed, going from poor to rich and obsessed about money and finally to humble and charitable again.
The film adaptation of the novel also shows his transition from poor to rich when he works as an apprentice; his employer affirms “Control the cashbox and you’ll control the world,” which Scrooge neither agrees nor denies. This proves significance as it is exactly what Scrooge displays through his actions in the present and it allows the viewer to see a possible that his boss may have been an influence in making him greedy which the reader doesn’t get in the book. Another important insight to Scrooge’s past is when Scrooge expresses that he thinks that the world is going to be a cruel place. This is ironic as in the present Scrooge contributes to making the world unpleasant through his melancholy, anger and greed and the thought may have been added to show the change. Towards the end of the novel and the film adaptation, Scrooge is brought to his grave by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, however in the film adaptation Scrooge lies down on grave in worry and fear, trying to comprehend whether what he sees is reality. This wasn’t described in the book and may just have been the choice of the director as there are few other actions suitable for that moment. However, it adds to the change in Scrooge as he is taking the possible future very seriously and is devastated and scared of what could happen. Adding to this, Scrooge repeats “Tell me I’m not already dead” and “I’m not the man I was” several times to show that he fears the future and has changed through the visits from the ghost. This could have been to replace the descriptions of fearful facial expressions which were presented in the book.
In the end of the film adaptation Scrooge wakes up after talking in his sleep. This showed that he was just dreaming, meanwhile in the book the narrator points out that he sees his bedposts but it isn’t explicit whether he woke up from a dream. However, the choice to make it a dream may still have been based on the narrative in the book which allows for open interpretation. In addition, the film had to present either that the ghosts were real or that it was a dream and the idea of him dreaming may have been easier to understand for the viewer. Another addition in the movie is the character of a maid. This creates contrast with Scrooge’s previous self as the maid is paid and he tried to live as cheaply as possible, eating cheap food, using little light, etc. The maid’s character is used to make the change in Scrooge more explicit as when he wakes up and she says it’s Christmas Day he is overly enthusiastic and happy about it. This makes her shocked and she asks “Are you quite yourself sir?” to which he replies “I don’t think so […] I hope not” in a jovial tone which shows yet again that he doesn’t want to be who he was before. The maid also screams as she is so confused by his actions and Scrooge points out that he is not mad and gives her money. This immediately allows the reader to see that he is not greedy anymore and feels sorry for the poor as he gives money after asking how much he pays her. Through writing, in the novel there is a gradual change through his interactions and dialogues with the ghost, however in the movie the addition there might have been the addition of the maid to allow for the opportunity of his actions to clearly demonstrate that he had changed and was cheerful and gleeful when he smiles for the first time in the movie.
In conclusion, the film prologues and adds several scenes to improve clarity and to give additional insights to Scrooge’s life, such as his transition to richness, his despair when he sees his grave and the change to his merry behaviour in the end. This may have also been to balance for the descriptions of his behaviour, emotions and surroundings which reveal the details on Scrooge’s change in the books.
A Characteristic Of Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ Novel a Christmas Carol
Somewhere in the dirty city of Victorian London, Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly main character of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, sits in the ice-cold air of his counting house in the company of his less-than-well-paid clerk, Bob Cratchit, thinking about the next way to make a quick profit while Bob struggles to put food on the table for his large family.
Scrooge is a cold man who believes that Christmas is just a waste of time and, more importantly, money. He believes that the good cheer of Christmas is humbug. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, who was just as greedy as Scrooge when he was alive. Marley warns Scrooge that he will spend eternity lugging around heavy chains that his greed has forged if he continues to go about life selfishly. Scrooge is then visited by three ghosts: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. They show Scrooge the wrong in his actions of putting pennies above people. He is afraid of the picture of his life and promises to change and keep Christmas in his heart all year long. Scrooge awakes on Christmas morning a changed man. He becomes jolly, generous, and overall the man he promised the ghosts he would become, and as mentioned in the book, “…it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” (Dickens, 80). Scrooge’s speech and actions change as the story goes on. At the beginning, his speech and actions are selfish and mean. In the middle, his speech and actions show signs of him changing, and at the end, his speech and actions show that he has transformed into a jolly, charitable man.l
Scrooge’s speech and actions at the beginning of the story are selfish and cruel. Early in the story, Scrooge is visited at his counting house by his young nephew, Fred. Fred was there to wish Scrooge a merry Christmas, but Scrooge just shooes him away. He states, “Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ‘em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”” (14)
This extensively displays that Scrooge’s speech and actions at the beginning of the book are selfish and cruel because not only does he denounce his nephew’s good intentions, but he also goes on to condemn Christmas. Because of this, Fred goes on to explain that despite Christmas has never put a penny in his pocket, it has done him good. This is a lesson Scrooge must learn if he wants to change. Almost immediately after Fred leaves, Scrooge is visited by two portly gentlemen. They ask him if he would like to donate to the poor. He replies, ““Are there no prisons?… And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation?”” (16). The two men tell him that the poor would rather die than go to these places, to which Scrooge heartlessly replies, “”If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”” (16). These two quotes display that Scrooge’s speech and actions at the beginning of the story are selfish and heartless because he basically says that the poor people should die now if they were going to die anyway. Because of behavior such as this towards the less-fortunate, Scrooge is visited by the three spirits of Christmas. The cruel speech and actions of Scrooge at the beginning of the novel set up for the arrival of Marley and the three Ghosts of Christmas.
The speech and actions of Scrooge in the middle of the story are much different from his heartless and penny-pinching speech and actions in the beginning. Scrooge’s speech and actions in the middle of the story show signs that he is changing. On Christmas day, the Ghost of Christmas Present took Scrooge to the Cratchit household. Tiny Tim, despite being in the state he is, is still cheerful. This prompts Scrooge to ask, “”Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”” (51). This indicates that Scrooge’s speech and actions in the middle of the story show signs of him changing because he’s caring about the well-being of someone other than himself. Due to this, the reader becomes aware that the Spirits are having an effect on Scrooge, and that he is starting to care about others. Later, the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to his nephew, Fred’s, party, which Scrooge was invited to. Scrooge gets absorbed in the activities, and is in a cheerful mood that he had not had in a long time. The book says,
“There might have been twenty people there, young and old, but they all played, and so did Scrooge; for, wholly forgetting, in the interest he had in what was going on, that his voice made no sound in their ears, he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud, and very often guessed right, too; for the sharpest needle, best Whitechapel, warranted not to cut in the eye, was not sharper than Scrooge; blunt as he took it in his head to be.
The Ghost was greatly pleased to find him in this mood, and looked upon him with such favor, that he begged like a boy to be allowed to stay until the guest departed. But this Spirit said could not be done.
“Here’s a new game,” said Scrooge, “One half-hour, Spirit, only one!”” (58).
This is evidence that Scrooge’s speech and actions in the middle of the story show signs that he is changing because he gets caught up in the Christmas cheer and begs the Spirit to stay a little longer. This causes Scrooge to become even more light of heart and shows that he is very close to being the man the Spirits envisioned he would be. Scrooge’s speech and actions in the middle of the story show that he has been taking the Ghosts’ teachings to heart.
Scrooge’s speech and actions in the middle of the story show that he is changing. The change he undergoes in fully reflected through his speech and actions at the end of the book. After Scrooge returns from his encounter with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, he leaps out of bed a new man, a butterfly emerged from its cacoon. He rushes to a window, where he sees a young boy. He asks,
“”Do you know the Poulterer’s, in the next street but one, at the corner?” Scrooge inquired.
“I should hope I did,” replied the lad.
“An intelligent boy!” said Scrooge. “A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there? Not the little prize Turkey; the big one?”
“What, the one as big as me?” returned the boy.
“What a delightful boy!” said Scrooge. “It’s a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!”
“It’s hanging there now,” replied the boy.
“Is it?” said Scrooge. “Go and buy it.”
“Walk-ER!” exclaimed the boy.
“No, no,” said Scrooge, “I am in earnest. Go and buy it, and tell ’em to bring it here, that I may give them the direction where to take it. Come back with the man, and I’ll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes, and I’ll give you half a crown!”” (76-77).
This demonstrates that Scrooge’s speech and actions at the end of the book show that he has changed because earlier, being so stingy with his money, he would have never done anything so generous, when now he is practically giving it away. For that reason, it is as plain as a piece of paper to see that the Spirits have truly had an effect on Scrooge and his speech and actions. At the end of the book, full clarification of Scrooge’s transformation is given. Dickens states,
“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!” (80).
This effectively proves that the speech and actions of Scrooge at the end of the book show he’s changed because Charles Dickens blatantly states it. Hence, Scrooge finally became the man the Ghosts envisioned him to be. In the end, Scrooge embraces the spirit of Christmas all year and his speech and actions are drastically changed from the beginning of the book.
Scrooge’s speech and actions change as the story goes on, from being cruel and greedy in the beginning, to showing signs of him changing to be a better person, to finally being selfless, kind, and joyful. I would rate this book five out of five stars. It is a classic and the story pulls you in and is stuck like glue to your hands until you reach the satisfying conclusion. I recommend this book to those who understand its symbolic meaning.
A Christmas Carol: an Example Of Classical Literature
Different people have varying opinions on what literature is, but what is it really? Literature has one correct definition, despite what other people think and say. If something is to be considered literature, then it must meet three main criteria. The piece of writing must have profound meaning, universal appeal, and must be timeless.
A good example of literature is the book, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. This book can be classified as literature because it meets the three main criteria. Obviously, this book is timeless because it was published in the 1840’s and is still popular today, and it also has a universal appeal, because people of all ages read it and it has become a classic Christmas story. A Christmas Carol’s profound meaning is that becoming a better person will make life more enjoyable for you and for everyone else around you. This book worked as a great example of literature because it easily met all of the criteria.
There are several reasons why this definition of literature – writing that has profound meaning, a universal appeal, and is timeless – is correct. Literature is a specific genre of writing. If a piece of writing does not meet all of the three criteria for literature, then it would fall into some other genre because the three criteria make literature the unique genre that it is. If a piece of writing did not have profound meaning, then it could still have a universal appeal and be timeless, but it could fall into almost any other genre because profound meaning is a big part of what makes literature what it is, and helps with the universal appeal. If a piece of writing is not timeless, then it is not literature because that means that it doesn’t have a universal appeal either, and if it doesn’t have a universal appeal, then that may mean that it doesn’t have a very profound meaning. As I said before, the book, A Christmas Carol, is a good example of literature because it clearly meets all of these criteria. A piece of writing cannot be considered literature if it does not meet all three criteria, no matter what the circumstance.
Someone could disagree with this definition of literature. They could argue that literature is anything that is worth remembering. They could say that writing doesn’t need a universal appeal or a profound meaning, or even need to be timeless. They could say that all writing needs is to be worth remembering. The key word there is worth. They would say that writing that is going to be remembered is literature, they would say that writing that is worth remembering is literature. There are several problems with that definition. What is worthy of remembrance? What do people consider that to be? One person could say that something is worth remembering, while another person could say that it’s complete garbage. That’s not writing with universal appeal. A person could look at a piece of writing with no meaning at all and say, “That’s worth remembering.” Someone could even find a piece of writing that almost no one has ever even heard of and say, “That’s worth remembering.” That’s not timeless writing. Writing cannot be considered literature if almost no one has ever heard of it, if there isn’t a universal appeal to it, or if there’s no meaning. A book of any genre could be worth remembering to someone, but that doesn’t make it literature; someone thinking that it’s worth remembering doesn’t make any difference at all. That definition of literature is too unstable.
Someone could also argue that literature is any famous writing that has been around for a long time. For example, there is a famous book called Little Women by Louisa May Alcott that has been around since the 1860’s. It’s about “the lives and loves of four sisters growing up during the American Civil War.” Even though this book is famous and has been around for a long time, it does not have a universal appeal because it’s what many people call a “chick-flick” book. In other words, no man or boy that I know would want to read this book because it was written for a female audience. Just because a piece of writing has been around for a long time and is famous, doesn’t mean that it’s literature. All that this definition tells you is that the book is timeless, not if it has profound meaning and a universal appeal. Also, a book doesn’t have to be around for a long time to be timeless. A book published today meeting all three of the necessary criteria could be literature. This definition is too generalized.
Literature is writing that has profound meaning, has universal appeal, and is timeless. If a piece of writing does not meet all three of these criteria, then it cannot be considered to be literature. That is the one true definition of literature.
An Assessment of Marley’s Role in Charles Dickens’ Book, a Christmas Carol
In The Christmas Carol, Marley’s plan to save Scrooge from eternal torture as a ghost worked due to the fact that he became a kinder person and did more good deeds. The plan, as Marley said, was that Scrooge would be haunted by three ghosts that would teach him a lesson that would help him avoid the same fate as Marley. ” ‘You will be haunted,’ resumed the Ghost, ‘by three spirits.’” pg 25. Marley’s view of business changed after death, but Scrooge’s is the same as before. If it continued that way, then Scrooge would have a chain longer then Marley’s, and would get the same fate as him. The fate was walking the earth watching people suffering but not being able to help. Scrooge does not want the visit of the spirits, but Marley insists they will come. After the ghosts came, Scrooge also became a better person. Scrooge thinks Marley is a figment of his imagination, and nothing more, and probably would of continued his greedy lifestyle.
At first, Scrooge is cruel and greedy, not caring about other people, also saying that Christmas is a humbug. He also didn’t give the two gentlemen who came for charity any money, saying that there are prisons and workhouses that the can go to, rather then begging. ” ‘Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.’ ‘If they would rather die,’ said Scrooge, ‘they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.’” (pg 16) At the beginning, Scrooge was uncaring about the poor, and didn’t care if they died. He also said Christmas was a humbug he and refused to come to Fred’s Christmas party. This was the way he thought before he was haunted by the three spirits.
As the days went on, and more spirits came, Scrooge changes and excepts the message that each one gives, and learns the lesson that each one offers. When the ghost of Christmas past comes, he still thinks everything is a big joke. He thinks the ghost will not come, and doesn’t believe what Marley said. He also refused to learn the lesson at first, but eventually did. “They must have some hidden purpose” (pg 63) When the ghost of Christmas present came, Scrooge expected him and was surprised when he had to go hunt for him. He also learned the lesson more willingly then before, and also did not have to be forced to learn the lesson. When the ghost of Christmas yet to come came, Scrooge knew there was a lesson, and wanted to learn it. At the beginning of the night, he refused to learn the lesson, but at the end, he willingly learns it. Scrooge wants to learn the lesson.
After the visits from the ghosts, Scrooge is happier and laughs, and is more generous. After waking up, he bought a giant turkey for the Crachit family, and then he paid for a cab to take the boy to Bob’s house. He also gave Bob a raise, and “was a second father” (pg 80) for Tiny Tim. He also doesn’t mind people laughing at him, as some people did when the noticed the change in him. He also was kinder to Fred, and came to his party, and gave money to charity, which he would not have done before the spirits came. Scrooge was changed by the spirits, but it was all for good.
As a result of of Marley’s plan, Scrooge became a better person, and was kinder during life. Therefore, Marley’s plan worked because he saved Scrooge from the same fate as him when Scrooge became kinder, instead of being cruel and uncaring. As he changed and became kinder, he also changed his reaction to the spirits. Then, after awaking on Christmas day, he celebrates and is happy. Marley’s plan worked because Scrooge is no longer a selfish pig, but is more generous and caring.
Review of Charles Dickens’ Book, a Christmas Carol
A Christmas carol is set in the Victorian era where there was a large divide between the rich and the poor. Dickens uses the allegorical character of ‘Scrooge’ to display the attitudes of the rich and fortunate towards those suffering through poverty and his exaggeration od Scrooge’s characteristics emphasizes his change of character towards the end of the novella.
At the beginning of the novel, Dickens introduces Scrooge as an ill-mannered, uncivil character. Dickens could also be using Scrooge as a symbol for greed “a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone”, “covetous old sinner”. Dickens uses tone to represent the gloom that pervades Scrooge’s environment creating a melancholy mood throughout that section of the text. By doing so, Dickens allows the reader to accumulate a low-spirited perception of Scrooge, he is not a particularly liked person, neither is he pleasant company. Dickens also attaches a cold nature to Scrooge’s personality through his comparison of Scrooge to the weather; “The cold within him froze his old features”, “He carried his own low temperature”. Here, Dickens uses a metaphor to imply to the reader that Scrooge’s character is equally as unsatisfactory as extreme cold weather (‘froze’).
Stave Two gradually shows outburst of emotion, (which there were no signs of in Stave One), as the ‘Spirit of Christmas Past’ reintroduces Scrooge to his childhood; “A solitary child, neglected by his friends… Scrooge said he knew it. And sobbed”. Evidently the character Scrooge has started allowing the memories he had endeavored to block out, flow back to him. Dickens suggests that the reason that Scrooge may have blocked out his childhood occurrences is that they were too painful for him. As a juxtaposition to Scrooge’s uncomfortable encounter with his past, ‘neglected’ self, he recalls his love for book characters; “ ‘why, it’s Ali Baba!’ Scrooge exclaimed in ecstasy.” So far, the reader hadn’t been knowledgeable of Scrooge’s fondness of anything, however, the reader now begins to recognize and uncover the fact that Scrooge once held book characters close to his heart.
In result of this apprehension of Scrooge’s past compassion for book characters, there is a possibility that Scrooge could undergo a change of heart which ends his limited affection for things. UP until now, Scrooge’s only known love was wealth. This ‘excitement’ continues throughout the Stave as Scrooge revisits the ‘Fezziwigs’ but his encounter with the character Belle (another past love of his), is too much for Scrooge to handle; “Remove me! Scrooge exclaimed, ‘I cannot bear it!”. From Scrooge’s drastic switch from excitement to an urgent need to leave, the reader can decipher that Scrooge is still too stubborn to accept that the only way to change himself is to embrace his memories, which he doesn’t seem to be allowing himself to do.
Stave Three shows Scrooge’s realization of the needs of the poor as the Spirit of Christmas Present takes him to see the Cratchits who are grateful for what they have, despite it being small in quantity. However when the ghost ‘sprinkled incense’ upon the food of the poor, Scrooge asked why he should give to ‘a poor one most’ which shows that he still hasn’t grasped that he has a responsibility to mankind and so questions kindness when he comes upon it. At the Cratchits house, Scrooge asks if ‘Tiny Tim will live’ with ‘an interest he has never felt before’, an example of Scrooge beginning to care for other people for reasons other than gain and greed. We also see that Scrooge regrets his words against the poor as he ‘hung his head to hear his own words’ repeated back to him. This indicates that he has realized that his actions have been wrong and therefore need to change. His concern for ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Want’ at the end of the stave shows his acknowledgement that poorer people do need help and balances with his ignorance in Stave One. So at the end of this stave Scrooge is no longer hiding from his problems, showing that he has a desire to change his way, a quality, which was not apparent at the beginning of the novella.
At the beginning of Stave Four, Scrooge admits that he hopes to be ‘another man’ from what he was which almost surprises the reader considering the first two staves where he refused to believe that he needed to change his ways. He encourages the Spirit to ‘lead on’ which tells us that he is anxious or/and determined to learn more and improve his ways. When Scrooge sees himself dead in his room he realizes that ‘avarice, hard dealing’ and ‘griping cares’ brought him to an end. When he asks to see ‘emotion’ linked to his death we see that Scrooge actually does want people to care for him and he relishes the thought that he will die alone. At the end of the stave Scrooge exclaims that he will ‘live in the Past, the Present and the Future’ which tells us that he intends to change his ways and has learnt that he must act differently and treat others differently if he wishes to avoid his dreaded fate.
The structure of Stave Five emphasizes Scrooge’s change as the events mirror that in the first. He refers to a young boy as ‘lovely’ in comparison to his mean attitude towards the carol singer earlier on. He then donates a large sum of money to the portly gentleman, an utter change in attitude to charity. He then visits Fred and chooses to embrace family life, confirming that he has learnt of the importance of family instead of turning them away. His kindness towards Bob at the end of the novel and the summary by Dickens proves that he was ‘as good a man’ as he intended to become as his kindness and charity made him a happier and valued man.
Overall, the reader gets a feel of what people like Scrooge look like to others. Dickens uses a fantasized occurrence to assist the reader in comprehending how even the worst of people have the opportunity to change everything about themselves, create a new outlook on their surroundings. Scrooge changes for the better with the aid of the Three Spirits. It’s possible that Scrooge thought he had nothing to be joyous about nor to be grateful for and it took three distinguishably influential Ghosts for Scrooge to adapt to a loving, more positive mindset.
Assessment of the Play, a Christmas Carol Held at The Hale Center Theater Orem
A Christmas Carol
I went and saw A Christmas Carol at Hale Center Theater in Orem. I really liked the costumes of the show. They were very fitting of the time-period the show was set in. They were wearing old English styling with big hoop skirts and very formal attire. I did not like the set in the show too much because it is weird to have a set for a theater in the round. There were too many things that had to come off and go back on each scene just for the set, not just the props. The set was much too over complicated for my liking, although they did do the scene changes fast so that helped with things.
I think that some, but not all the leads did really well. The protagonist is actually the protagonists to me, because it seemed like the three ghosts were the protagonists. They were trying to give Ebenezer Scrooge some Christmas spirit. Ebenezer Scrooge seemed to be the antagonist in my opinion because he was refusing to accept the spirit. I really did not like how Scrooge was portrayed at the end. He was too happy much too fast to really make since. One moment he was still troubled of what he had seen and the next he was out to make it the best Christmas ever. He rushed his emotions more than he should have. I also did not like the Ghost of Christmas Future. He was just a tall, dark figure that just pointed to where to look. He didn’t accomplish much for me. On the other hand, the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present were very well portrayed.
I think that the blocking was a bit pointless in some parts of the piece. At times, the scene seemed to be directed to a certain section of the audience, not the whole audience. It is somewhat understandable in doing it in the round, but still you should not focus on one section during one of the scene you should move around and try to show it to all sections. I also didn’t like the carolers when they came out to sing. They would break up in pairs and sing to a section until the song was over then go off stage. I would have liked it better if they moved around more as they sang.
I think that the theme of the piece is that you should use your talents and riches to bless the lives of others around you. Scrooge had to learn this the hard way by seeing different peoples’ lives during Christmas. When it was all over and done with, he finally came to his senses and started to help people out. He went up to the little beggar girl and gave her money and donated to the two men. He started helping people instead of keeping everything to himself.
I think that the strongest character and actor was probably young Scrooge. He had to show different times of Scrooges life from being at different ages. He had to be this age this scene and then older the very next scene. He also had to be much more emotionally attached to his character in my opinion because of the things that happened in Scrooge’s life. His emotions rather flowed in a continuous stream from each age shown but he had to act each age different age as soon as he needed to.
I really liked the show because of how well the characters were. Each actor or actress played his or her part really well and I was pleased with that. I did not like some of the things that were done but I understand the reason behind why they were done. Other than, some of the things that work for normal stages do not work for a stage in the round. The things that I really did not like were just directorial issues other than that the production quality was great.
I do not think that I fully received the message, but it did not go right over my head. I did not really get it because I have a harder time to relate to Scrooge because I am not in his type of situation. I am no stubborn and keep my wealth to myself. I already help people in need the best that I am able to. I do not have much so I do as much as I can with it. I did learn to try to help people in need more than I do, because sometimes I just get lazy and do not want to help people out. That is just because I am lazy not because I am over selfish.
Analysis of Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol vs. Wilkie Collins’, The Moonstone
Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol (1843) and Wilkie Collins’s novel The Moonstone (1868), both show different messages about their author’s view of ethics. The Victorian era was an era when the ethical view of the world – and the people in it –was undergoing a period of massive change. Both works come from an England near the height of its powers, and the seat of a massive and powerful empire, yet at home, the vast riches of that empire was not spread fairly. Instead, it was a time of massive differences in wealth, with the rich gaining massive fortunes, and the poor forced to work in factories or as servants in homes, and face horrible misfortune and suffering.
Victorian England is not unlike the world today, where billions of people are poor, while the richest 1% own more than half of all the money and resources. Because of this major problem, which is present now and then, it is necessary to return to Victorian literature to describe how best to respond to these problems today. Both A Christmas Carol and The Moonstone show the different ethical ideas, especially about how the rich should treat the poor. However, from the ethics of how the rich should treat the poor, both in ideal and aspirational ethics, these novels differ in their presentation of the value of the so-called ‘golden rule’, and the idealized view in The Moonstone is more effective.
The Ethics of Wealth in Literature
How should the wealthy treat the poor? Such ideas have weighed heavily on the minds and hearts of authors of all generations, but tend to be more important during times of greater socioeconomic separation, that is, when there is greater separation between the classes. Stories, explains McCall-Smith (2009), “express a moral point of view,” so for authors to behave ethically, they are bound to present a good and proper example for their readers (McCall-Smith 1). So, during times of vast wealth disparity, authors have a duty to highlight these separations, and also to present the ethical argument that it best for the rich to treat the poor in a charitable and generous way.
There are two different ways to go about making this ethical argument. The first, ideal perspective, might argue that a work of art is best when it simply explains to the reader what an ethical behavior consists of, and shows its characters behaving that way. The ideal ethical perspective is instructive, as the reader might take away a lesson in how best to behave from the behaviors shown by the characters in a given story. By contrast, the aspirational ethical perspective presents a path to ethics, and builds its view of proper behavior to the end of a journey of self-reflection and understanding.
The most proper type of ethical behavior to rule the relations between rich and poor the golden rule, or the idea that people should treat others as they would prefer to be treated themselves. This idea is so common that it is almost a law, and is shared between all world religions and has a firm source in many societies. This rule is also defined as an order to treat people “only as [they] consent to being treated in the same situation” (Gensler 2). This rule is ethically sound and builds a strong foundation from which to consider Victorian literature because of the connection between huge inequality in wealth at the time and the failure of rich people to follow this rule. The golden rule “demands consistency,” and requires a “fit” between the actions taken by people and their “desires about how [they] would wish to be treated in the same situation” (Gensler 2).
Both A Christmas Carol and The Moonstone tell similar lessons about the ethics of wealth. Both stories explain that mere station in life, as defined by the amount of money that people have in the bank, is not enough to allow them to treat poorer people unfairly or harshly, even if they can afford to do so. The key difference, then, between these two works of Victorian literature, lies in the way that these authors – Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins – choose to tell this lesson to their readers.
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol is full of examples of its wealthy main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, behaving in a way that is not only greedy, but cruel, especially toward the workers and associates who he has kept over the years. A series of clear examples are in evidence early in the book, long before Scrooge has met with the three ghosts, who show him his past, present, and future, and he is able to get his redemption. Importantly, the view that the work presents is not one which argues that Scrooge himself is a singular villain, instead, it can be argued that Scrooge is most notable because he is a stand-in for the whole of rich Victorian society, a man whose wealth has caused him to be angry, bitter, and consumed with greed, and has lost his way in life. His failure to relate to those who are poorer than him – who holds power over due to his wealth – has caused him to be callous about their fates, welfare, and even their lives. While Scrooge does not behave unethically in a traditional sense — he has broken no laws — his behavior toward his fellow man can be considered deeply cold and shameful, and lacking of any major sense of ethical reciprocity.
An early example comes when Scrooge is visited by men collecting for the poor, who request that Scrooge make “some slight provision for the poor and destitute,” for people who “suffer greatly” during the cold months of winter (Dickens 14). To this request, Scrooge answers, “are there no prisons?” While Scrooge also asks if there are ‘workhouses’, and if welfare laws are also “in effect,” his mention of prisons – which are supported, much to his anger, with his taxes – shows that Scrooge feels no for the poor (Dickens 14). He would rather see the poor in cages than donate any of his money to increase their happiness. “Those who are off badly must go there,” he says, and shows that he cannot imagine himself in the situation that the poor suffer in, and as a result views them as people who deserve to be treated like criminals (Dickens 14).
A similar view is presented later in the conversation, when the men argue – when they describe the prisons, workhouses, and other facilities where the poor go – that “many can’t go there, and many would rather die” (Dickens 15). To this, Scrooge says, “if they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population” (Dickens 15). This line shows both Scrooge’s lack of ethical reciprocity, and how Dickens shows Scrooge to reflect the views of an era: Scrooge is rich, but he is also a rich man who views those who are in a different, more difficult, situation as being not even human, and deserving of death if they don’t find government-provided services to be to their liking. This view goes to the core of his personality, and shows that he is really unable to sympathize with people who do not share his privileges in life.
The core of A Christmas Carol is Scrooge’s journey to redemption, where he is literally able to re-live his life and learn lessons about the perspectives of others, especially how he will be remembered after he dies. However, this is where the work’s ethical viewpoint becomes complicated, and seems to show that Scrooge has only chosen to become generous because he fears that he will be forgotten after he dies, and that his funeral will be attended by local businessmen, but only “if a lunch is provided” (Dickens 67). Scrooge has learned little about reciprocity, aside from the fact that he will not be remembered if he does not begin acting more kindly toward others. In this way, though the novel presents an aspirational view of ethics, it fails to live up to the ideals of these aspirations. Though it begins by perfectly showing the perspective of a wealthy man without sympathy, who could be a stand-in for any other, the journey that Scrooge takes is unrelatable, and so the novel teaches no lessons except that sympathy might come from fear of a bad reputation after death.
Wilkie Collins’s novel The Moonstone is one of the first true examples of the mystery genre, but its perspective on ethics and the ‘golden rule’, shows a view of ethics which goes far beyond A Christmas Carol. The key difference between the works is that there is no little change in the perspectives that the characters hold about class, or about how the rich should treat the poor. Instead, the author, Wilkie Collins, presents an idealized version of class relations throughout his story, through the personality and depth that he provides to its poor servant characters. Through the work’s journey – which describes the efforts by many different characters to find out who has stolen a large diamond, and to get the diamond back – a wide range of characters are given a great deal to do, say, and think but these do not only include the wealthy characters surrounding Rachel, the original owner of the diamond. By giving the novel’s secondary, working-class and poor characters a great deal of humanity, and a rich inner life, the work implies that the poor are worthy of respect.
The work goes further than that, though. The Moonstone argues that the work that the poor perform is just as notable, and worthy of praise and respect, as any other type of work. In its descriptions of Gabriel Betteredge, the steward of the Verinder house, the work shows that his position – while working-class – is just as important as any other type of work, such as work in politics. On Rachel’s birthday, Betteredge explains that the celebration he organizes followed “the plan adopted by the Queen in opening Parliament – namely, the plan of saying much the same regularly every year” (Collins 92). By drawing this connection between Betteridge’s mundane work in the home and the important work done in government, and arguing that each is equally based in boring ritual, Collins’ novel shows that all people, rich or poor, powerful or not, are all the same, and just as deserving of respect and admiration for hard work.
The novel has other examples which are more direct in their arguments, such as when Limping Lucy Yolland, angry that the servant Rosanna Spearman was disrespected by Franklin Blake, says, “the day is not far off when the poor will rise against the rich. I pray Heaven they may begin with him” (Collins 276). However, this view is limited to Lucy and does not feature largely in the rest of the work.
To this end, it can be argued that The Moonstone represents not an aspirational view of ethical reciprocity, but rather an idealized sort, one which is not told through the characters’ experiences, but instead by the author’s choice to give them an equal amount of status in the text. By treating all the characters throughout this mystery as equals, Collins shows that all are worthy of attention, everyone has a story to tell, and implies by this equal weight to masters and servants, that everyone should treat everyone else with respect. In this way, Collins’s novel matches the idealized version of ethics it presents by its structure and presentation.
I believe that the idealized version of ethical reciprocity shown in The Moonstone is the more effective way to get this point across than the aspirational ethics highlighted in A Christmas Carol. Because Dickens’ novel takes such a long and complicated route to get Scrooge to treat others with respect, there are many different reasons why he might have chosen to do so, with the character’s self-interest, and wish to not be remembered poorly (or not at all) at the top of the list.
However, in The Moonstone, the characters are shown to be equals by the equal status given to their inner lives and feelings. Because the reader learns to sympathize with both the masters and the servants, they are shown that people of all walks of life are equally deserving of respect. I believe that in this way, during times of extreme disparities in wealth, when the wealthy may be inclined to view themselves as superior to the poor – both in Victorian England and now – Collins’s novel’s idealized picture of ethics teaches a lesson that everyone would be wise to learn. The Moonstone teaches this ethical lesson in a better way because it fills all its characters, even the poor characters, with an inner life that the reader can easily identify and sympathize with.
The Transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge
A Christmas Carol is an allegory, written in 1843 by Charles Dickens, is one of the most compelling Christmas themed books known today. It was written during the industrial revolution in England. It was a dirty era and the plight of the poor was desperate. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly, cold-hearted owner of a London counting-house, continues his stingy, greedy ways on Christmas Eve. Later on that evening, Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during the next three nights. Scrooge has one last chance of redemption, he can either embrace the joy of Christmas or end up like his fellow dead business partner, according to the spirits. Dickens’ novella is not a religious telling of the story of Christmas, but it does talk about the ability of a person to transform one’s life by changing the way they treat their neighbor.
At the start of the book, Scrooge is portrayed as an unfeeling, cruel character which is shown when he tells the charity workers that if the poor would rather die than go to a workhouse, “then they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population”. Scrooge represents the Victorian rich who neglect the poor and think only of their own well-being. Pathetic fallacy is used to represent Scrooge’s change: In Stave One, the weather is described as being “Foggier yet, and colder. Piercing, searching, biting cold”. This represents how cold and iron-hearted Scrooge was at the beginning of the book. Repetition is another key technique used to dramatically describe scrooge’s character. A word repeated many times in the first few paragraphs is “dead” with this an instant negative mood is brought upon the reader. Dickens creates the sense that Scrooge was isolated, “Secret and self-contained, and as solitary as an oyster.” Scrooge would not even let a single penny slip through his hand, regardless of how wealthy he was. A miserly and mean character who only cares about money.
Described as a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!”In the final Stave, Scrooge has become a lot more emotional and charitable. You can see this as he uses more affectionate terms such as “my dear” and “my love” and as he says that “the time before him was his own, to make amends in!” when he wakes up. The spirits have really played a massive role in transforming his character. In Stave Five, the weather is “clear, bright, jovial” with “Golden sunlight”. This change in weather represents how Scrooge has become a lot kinder and more generous. This again, is an example of pathetic fallacy. Scrooge is a changed man. Here is a word repeated often in the last stave “chuckle”. This is a cheerful and enthusiastic word that fits in with scrooge’s new change of character. It makes the reader feel that scrooge is now a humorous person, which he never was before. He repents for all his previous sins by giving Bob a raise, atoning for his previous bitterness toward his clerk, he apologizes to the portly gentleman he meets on the street and pledges lavish contributions for his charity, where in Stave One he threw him out of his counting-house.
Scrooge also happily attends Fred’s party.In conclusion, the moral behind Christmas carol is that in a social divided community it is important to treat everyone with equality. This is shown through scrooge’s character, and how he treats people somewhat below him in the social hierarchy as a man quite high in society and how he treats them after he has been visited by the spirits. The moral is still of relevance to today’s world, although there is a large time difference between now and then there still are social divides throughout society. Dickens uses a variety of techniques to make this book have a great impact on the reader.
A Christmas Carol is closely linked with Dickens personal life. Dickens was poor and his parents spent time in workhouses. This book was written during the industrial revolution, the working world, especially a city like London, was becoming more mechanised, it seems that the goods of a man were slipping through the cracks as all the men were too busy working. This novella was written to remind all these men to focus on the right things, not get carried away and it’s never too late to change. [754 words]
A Christmas Carol as a Moral Maxim
Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is set in Victorian London and tells the story of the transformation of a wicked, miserly Scrooge into a benevolent humanitarian via supernatural intervention. The invited reading persuades readers to accept that despite the gap between rich and poor, inspired individuals are capable of changing society, social change is desired by the powers of the supernatural realm, and small steps can be achieved by wealthy individuals who fulfill their duty of kindness to the less fortunate. The writer’s purpose is stated in the words of Marley’s ghost: “ Mankind was my business” and implemented by allowing the reader to share the rigorous re-education of Scrooge. Dickens achieves his purpose of positioning readers to favour social change through the use of powerful stereotypical representations of real world and supernatural characters which compel readers to criticise and reflect on the wrongness of attitudes, values and beliefs of a selfish Victorian society.
The reader initially rejects the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, whose greed-driven values are contrasted with Bob Cratchit , a poor, underpaid, kindly clerk devoted to his family. Dickens emphasises that money lust has made Scrooge a miserable, toxic character who spreads misery. Yet his observations grow, and his viewpoint evolves as his relationship with the Cratchits grows: “They were not a handsome family; they were not well dressed; their shoes were far from being waterproof; their clothes were scanty; and Peter might have known, and very likely did, the inside of pawnbroker’s. But they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another’s company, and contented with the time.” The reader disapproves of his coldheartedness and sympathises with the people he mistreats: the Cratchits, his nephew, Fred, and Belle, his former fiancée who recognised Scrooge had made “a golden idol”(p65) of money.
The reader’s greatest sympathies are directed towards the Cratchit family, serving Dicken’s purpose of promoting the welfare of the working class. Tiny Tim, condemned to poverty and physical misery as well, is an important device in Scrooge’s transformation. That Scrooge has ignored this pitiful little boy is central to his failure as a human being. Befriending the child, signifies the awakening of his human spirit to the power of kindness. Dickens implies in Tiny Tim’s words “God bless us, everyone!” that the purpose of life lies in feeling happy about helping the needy. Through his relationship with the Cratchit family, Scrooge learns about the joy of giving, the value of kindness and generosity, and the pleasures of living as a member of a loving family. The portrayal of Tiny Tim’s death affects Scrooge deeply, positioning the reader to love children, and want to help an underprivileged handicapped child. Tim calls the reader to accept Christian teachings when he says, “I want people to see me because I am a cripple…”
Through Dickens’ detailed descriptions of supernatural characters, and his evocative emotional use of shocking imagery, the reader shares Scrooge’s deeply emotional journey which teaches him compassion. Scrooge believes in ghosts, and the chained, doomed ghost of Marley introduces the reader to fear of the supernatural, of death and of the afterlife. Fear inspires the reader to share the Christian belief that the price of today’s mistakes is eternal wandering in a void of misery after death. “You are fettered,” said Scrooge, trembling. “Tell me why?” “I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” Along with Scrooge, the reader accepts this as truth. With supernatural teachers, the Ghosts of Christmas, Scrooge’s ignorance is destroyed through a painful moral education process which the reader shares. The shock of experiencing shame and guilt at his unkind treatment of others, followed by the fear of eternal damnation that Scrooge faces are life-changing. Scrooge faces the ugly eternal consequences of his wrongdoings. Through sharing Scrooge’s experience, the reader also fears punishment in the afterlife, and like Scrooge, resolves to live a better life.
Minor characters are contrasted against Scrooge, and also provides glimpses of the life and values of the poor class. Ragged, unhappy, hungry children are advertisements sending an anti poverty message to the reader. The inclusion of humble miner’s hut and the lonely lighthouse expand the reader’s awareness of the extent of both poverty and the kindly human spirit of the poor class. The benevolent employer, Fezziwig is contrasted with the mean spirited Scrooge, showing the reader that some people are already practising compassion . The parade of morally good characters impresses that society is struggling to help the poor, and this change needs to be boosted by more helping hands.
Dickens’ moral message is repeated for emphasis in each stage, by each spirit of Christmas, and through every character and situation in the novella. When Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, comments that “offenses carry their own punishments” he is supporting Dickens’s Christian moral viewpoint, further appealing to the reader to be reasonable and understand the importance of helping out the needy . He is repeating the message of Marley’s ghost, who teaches that the faults of life will be paid for in death. The personal effort required to change is rewarded when Scrooge summons his courage to knock on Fred’s door. Finally, Scrooge is deeply grateful for the help he received to change his ways, shown when he says “I shall love this doorknocker as long as I live”. This positions the reader to share Scrooge’s happiness and believe that change is achievable and desirable, and to make the effort.
Finally, the reader walks the road of moral redemption with Scrooge, learning with him that “the common welfare.. charity mercy, forebearance and benevolence” p49 are every man’s duty. The various range of character representations and their experiences support Scrooge’s transformation, persuading the reader to accept the need for social change, and to follow Scrooge’s example. His successful transformation offers the reader a role model which affirms the power of the individual to correct the social injustice caused by greed and uncontrolled capitalism.
How Scrooge represents hyprociry in “A christmas carol”
‘Jacob Marley was as dead as a doornail.’ The celebrated author Charles Dickens accentuates this inert nature of a door nail to the society to 1843 England through his classic novella ‘A Christmas Carol.’ The novella’s titular character, Ebenezer Scrooge, is a product of human hypocrisy. Scrooge accedes to ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Want’ in order to be accepted into the society that fathers these ‘wretched children’ and chisels the traits they embody; but are then socially ostracized for doing so. A transformed Ebenezer addresses his accountability after he is confronted by ramifications of his past, present, and future but the society that is pivotal in sculpting Scrooge does not.
Socially ostracized for fostering society’s ideals, Ebenezer has no choice but the pursuit of money. Although propelled by ambition, the winter of Scrooge’s life is founded on the neglect and abandonment continuously thrust on him by society. A ‘poor but content’ man, who only engages himself in the pursuit of wealth in order to elevate himself from the status of a ‘neglected, solitary child’, again finds himself shunned from society. Dickens positions this point in Ebenezer’s life as a shadow climax, which although not explicitly stated in the book, can be observed to be the moment which jolts him to becoming the ‘the notorious miser’ he is famed to be. When this already ‘squelching, squealing, wincing’ young man is categorized as the ‘feared money lender’ and is deserted upon by the few people that provide him with love, he has no choice but to make the pursuit of fortune his only accomplishment in life. As the prominent isolates himself from the ‘business of Mankind’ and accepts his business and Jacob Marley as his ‘sole friends,’ he freezes himself into being ‘hard and sharp as flint.’ Utilizing these analogies, Dickens unearths the old wounds that delve beneath Ebenezer’s hardened exterior and cements the foundation of the ‘covetous old sinner.’ Dickens explores the elements within Scrooge that were inducted by the superficial instinct of human society, thus citing him to be a product of human hypocrisy.
A transformed Scrooge takes accountability for his actions but the society that prompted him into self-destruction does not. Aided by the 3 spirits of Christmas, Scrooge is presented with the ability to accost the anguish of his past, revel in the present and delve into the impending darkness of his future. As he observes the menacing consequences of his mistakes firsthand, he resolves to address his shortcomings and end his aversion to human warmth. This ‘wicked old screw’ wakes up the next morning having transformed himself into the very ‘Spirit of Christmas.’ ‘Striving within the spirits’ of the ‘past, present and future’, Finding that even the most minute things about Christmas ‘yield him pleasure,’ Scrooge not only omits the drastic ramifications of his actions, but also mends his broken heart through the very day he once loathed. But the community that Scrooge aids remain stagnant and sultry. While these bystanders relished the festivities of Christmas and accepted Ebenezer’s evolution as a mere change of heart, they never recognized their own temerity. 1843 England announced itself to Scrooge in an ‘awful language.’ The town which gladly accepted Scrooge’s ‘mercy, charity and benevolence’ as repentance for his own sins never stopped to observe the how they treated the man with the cold, ‘solitary’ heart. Although some characters in A Christmas Carol embrace Scrooge despite his spiteful characteristic, most of the community regards Scrooge as the ‘junk’ of their town. Dogs ‘growl’ when he comes across them, beggars take extra care to ‘hide in the corner’ and general public ensures that their only contact with Scrooge is to sell his ‘last remnants.’ Dickens positions these components in A Christmas Carol in order for the reader to observe the failings of Scrooge as well as society. All these elements can be cited as exhibiting hypocrisy and rejection, thus determining Ebenezer as a product of human neglect and abandonment.
Charles Dickens presents Ebenezer Scrooge as a character composed of many shortcomings that are developed by himself, but are founded by society. A neglected and abandoned child by his family, friends and society, Scrooge accedes to Ignorance and Want in order to to be accepted in the community that fathers these ideas. Shunned for acquainting with these wretched children, Ebenezer is left with no choice but the pursuit of money. A transformed Scrooge takes accountability for his actions, but the society that prompts him into isolation does not. The analysis of these elements presents Scrooge as a product of human hypocrisy. Through a Christmas Carol, Dickens chides society that it will continue to sculpt people like Scrooge if it fails to address its shortcomings