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A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

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lectrixnoctis's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


With "A Christmas Carol", Charles Dickens made a modern fairy tale and shaped our views of Christmas. The story of the solitary Ebenezer Scrooge, who is introduced to the true essence of the season by a series of ghostly guests and given a second chance, was summoned up by Dickens during one of his London night walks "wept and laughed" as he composed it. Taken to readers' hearts for its wit, compassion and notice of redemption, it remains its best-loved book.

The narrator portrays Ebenezer Scrooge using imagery of a grindstone sharpening a device. In his single-minded priority on gaining wealth, Scrooge means the contrary of generosity in every way possible. In his company dealings, he always tries to squeeze cash out of people, grasps and scrapes for more help for himself, and hungers what he does not yet have. In his personal life, he has an entirely self-centred and solitary lifestyle—he neither needs nor wants friendship or any other type of relationship with other people. After the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge describes his former boss, Mr Fezziwig, taking him around to a lovely Christmas party the Fezziwigs threw for their employees. The event reminds Scrooge how much he adored working for Mr Fezziwig. He explains what made Mr Fezziwig an excellent senior and insists that money wasn't the source of his employees' fulfilment. Mr Fezziwig showed his generosity in exerting his power over his employees with compassion. Scrooge begins to realise that he has not followed Fezziwig's example now that he takes the role of boss. Scrooge's nephew Fred urges that his observance of the Christmas holiday always include trying to help his uncle develop some Christmas spirit. Fred aspires to transform his uncle for the better. Fred would trust it a success if Scrooge gave away some of his money—not to Fred himself, but Scrooge's only worker Bob Cratchit. The nephew knows that Bob and his family would significantly benefit from some financial help. He desires Scrooge to become tremendous both for the Cratchits' sake and Scrooge's own. Fred understands how people should treat one another; the Ghosts have taught Scrooge. Upon awakening from his night with the Ghosts, Scrooge asks a boy on the highway to buy the prize turkey from a regional shop. Having noticed, through the Ghost of Christmas Present, the Cratchits' little goose, he plans to send them the turkey instead. This first act represents generosity: Scrooge makes a financial gift that will benefit individuals in need. Scrooge does not want credit for this act, and best of all, he starts to realise that generosity functions as its tip. Understanding that the Cratchits will be glad makes Scrooge happy.

Marley shares his regret with Scrooge to stop Scrooge from sharing his fortune. Having never supported his fellow people in life, he has been condemned to walk the earth in death without the power to help them. He understands that Scrooge also walks through the streets, overlooking the requirements of others. He suggests that the original Christmas story furnishes the key for how people should behave toward one another. The narrator defines how, with the aid of Marley'At this point, he feels doubtful of what he believes. Scrooge sounds regretful over a past deficiency of generosity for the only time. Scrooge had just relived the events of his boyhood when he was entirely alone at school over Christmas. He participates in the sad and lonesome feelings he has elongated repressed.
Connecting again to his younger self, he now places the boy who newly tried to sing him a Christmas carol, a lad he discharged violently. Whether his compassion for the chap results from his solitary status or poverty, the incident rekindles Scrooge's instinct for kindness. The narrator describes Scrooge's remorse as he sees the daughter of Belle, his ex-fiancée. Readers discover that Belle broke off their engagement due to his increasing focus on money and happily married another man. Unexpectedly, Scrooge finds that if he maintained not lost Belle, he might have had a gorgeous household too, and for the only time, he discerns the weight of a family. 

Marley defines how justice procedures in the afterlife punish sins of deletion. When people withhold exemplary in life, they will endlessly revisit the missed options in death without making the circumstances better. Humankind must tend to each other by assisting and sharing. Not doing so results in a lasting torment. The value of life rests on proactive, positive morality rather than a passive strategy of avoiding sin. Marley regrets the wrong priorities he carried in life. Scrooge has just noted that Marley was always a good company man. Marley, distressed, knows that his actual industry should have assisted individuals. The overall message here shows that one may be a reasonable businessman and a good person. The Phantom of Christmas Present rebuts Scrooge's indictment that the good spirits prompted Sabbath closures of essential services like bakeries to represent religion. 

Scrooge's nephew Fred explains why he has decided to visit his uncle and wish him a cheerful Christmas despite Scrooge's snub. Fred urges that the nature of Christmas profits him even though the spirit does not benefit him—a concept unfamiliar to Scrooge. While Fred thinks the Christmas spirit comes over him, making him feel helping, he also illustrates and extends the Christmas spirit through his generosity and kindness. The narrator conveys the grim city avenues altered by the Christmas spirit spreading cheer everywhere. On December 25, ordinary activities like shovelling or shopping own air of festival. 

What can I say? This is one of my all-time favourite books, and I will always cherish it ever since I was a little girl. I have felt drawn through this story, and I still think it's a beautiful fairytale about how people can change even when they are older. I highly recommend this to anyone, especially around the Christmas season.

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