Dickens’s Christmas Carol Revisited

Dickens’s Christmas Carol Revisited
During the Christmas season, the movie based on Charles Dickens’s classic novel, A Christmas Carol, will surely be shown on television for everyone to see. In Dickens’s classic, Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character. Scrooge is a cranky, tight-fisted man that is miserable and wants everyone else to be miserable too. He is also a lonely man that lives in a large house alone with only his business as his interest.

What makes this a horror story? The presence of ghosts that torment Ebenezer Scrooge in the story are what qualify the story in the horror literature genre. The ghosts in the book are there to each Scrooge a lesson whether he wants to learn it or not. He is in essence a prisoner of the ghosts. The first ghost he sees is his old business partner, Jacob Marley.

Because of his miserly existence on Earth, Marley has been condemned to roam the world as a ghost to pay for his greediness while he was alive. He is covered in heavy chains as a reminder of how he was chained to his love of money. Marley tells Scrooge that for the next three nights he will be shown how things were, how they are and how they can be. He begs Scrooge to spare himself from the torture that he now endures by listening to the ghosts and learning from them.

Ebenezer Scrooge is also entertained by three ghosts that hold him hostage as they visit different Christmases. The first ghost is the ghost of Christmas past and they visit the Christmases that have lead up to the ghost’s visit. As Scrooge is taken back to his childhood, he sees a very different side of himself. As a child, Scrooge was not the cold, hard person he is now. As they visit the past years of Christmas past, Scrooge starts to remember of happier times before he closed his heart off to the world.

The ghost of Christmas present takes Scrooge around to different homes to see how they are celebrating Christmas. They visit Scrooge’s nephew and watch how everyone is happy and having a good time. Scrooge remembers that his nephew invited him to come to the house and join them for Christmas. He sees what he is missing in his family as he continues his quest for money. He then visits the Cratchit family, the home of his office clerk and sees the abject poverty that the Cratchits live in. However, he also sees how happy the family is in spite of the poverty and the illness of Tiny Tim, a young boy.

The third night, the ghost of what is to come takes Scrooge on a visit to a future time when an important man has died. Everywhere they go, people are talking about how cheap and hateful the man was. People on the street are bartering his personal belongings for food; other people talk about how their debt has been wiped out because of his death and their great relief that they do not have to worry about it. Scrooge cannot help but wonder who this person is that so many people are relieved at his death. He begs the ghost to show him who has died. Can you imagine his shock when he sees his name on the headstone?

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