Hypocrisy in a Christmas Carol: A Study of Scrooge
‘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
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