Thursday, December 16, 2010

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

I think one of my favorite things about this season is reading Christmas literature. It was fun to be in a discussion about "A Christmas Carol" this month, and I thought I would post my thoughts on the individual Staves here. If you haven't read this, I encourage you to take the plunge. It isn't long, but it is good.  =)

Stave 1 - Here in "Marley's Ghost" we see two distinctly different types of men. Scrooge and Marley were penny-pinchers who didn't enjoy life. On the other hand we have Scrooge's nephew and clerk who are happy with the season for the sake of the season. Yes, times are difficult, but they were not bah humbugging everything. Marley enters to warn Scrooge to change. Hmmmm, isn't that fitting for today? Instead of concentrating on material wealth, spend time enjoying the season and those around us.
Stave 2 - "The First of Three Spirits" - This is the part of the story that gives us a glimpse into another life of Ebenezer. He had been happy. He had been a participant in life. Now as he looks back, the memories are too painful for him. I am always amazed at his reactions because he seems so harsh at first. This section shows us that he does have feelings, so there seems to be hope for him.
Stave 3 - "The Second of Three Spirits" represented all the good of Christmas to me - things like: celebrating even when you don't have what others think is enough; putting aside anger and malice; enjoying laughter and merriment. Scrooge had absolutely no idea that people were this happy and content with so very little. He found himself enjoying what he could not join. After all the hope and joy, we get a sense of foreboding when we meet the two "children" - Ignorance and Want right before the next ghost comes to take Scrooge on a new journey.
I liked this part and love the Cratchits! It was also fun to "meet" others as they enjoyed the spirit of Christmas.
Stave 4 - "The Last of the Spirits" This is the "spookiest" and saddest of all the staves for me. This ghost does not speak, rather points so that Scrooge makes the discoveries himself. I believe that Scrooge had begun to change before this ghost arrived because not only was he anxious to get the visit underway, but he also knew the spirit had something to teach him. It did seem to surprise him that death was such a big part of this episode.
Hope, laughter, and light fill Stave 5, "The End of It." Scrooge is changed and wants everyone to know it by his demeanor. The huge turkey is given in secret, and I loved when he suggested, and paid for, transportation for the delivery. Scrooge joins his nephew and niece for Christmas dinner, thoroughly surprising and delighting them. This whole story seems meant to show us all that change is possible for anyone.


  1. I've seen the play dozens of times but never read the book. I finally listed it on my TBR pile and for one of my challenges in 2011. :)

  2. =) I am watching every version now. LOL