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A Christmas Carol : Humbug!


Symposia : 7/10

Goodreads : 4.1/5

A fable encased by the essence of Christmas, ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a tale encompassing redemption, loss, and the dire need for compassion in a cruel world. Aside from its morals, this book comprises a well written and atmospheric story. Dickens’ novella encircles a forbidding man, Ebenezer Scrooge, and his journey through the holidays as he encounters the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future. It is a perennial classic that remained didactic even after the humanitarian struggles of the Victorian era, as it truly captures the heart of Christmas.

I first read this book in the third grade and was certainly unable to comprehend Dickens’ Victorian idiolect. As ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a classic, the writing is slightly hard to navigate and tends to become tangential, but it perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the holidays. The real wow factor about this novella, however, is its plot. Our protagonist, Scrooge, becomes ill-disposed upon the demise of his dear business partner, Marley. Even in the holidays, Scrooge remains obstinately cold and disregards everyone, including his family and those less fortunate outside his door. Marley’s ghost haunts him prior to Christmas and prophecies the arrival of three other spectres in the nights to come. These apparitions edify Scrooge about the need for solicitude through a glimpse into his past, present and future Christmases. This amalgam of morals is a masterpiece that has been adapted to screen and stage countless times.

The emotive nature of the story also stems from the fact that Dickens weaved himself into it. At the time of publication, the author himself was undergoing acute financial trouble and thus, masterfully cultivated a plot about empathy towards people, whether they be privileged or not. The storyline may seem incongruous with Christmas but in the end, it effectively delineates the sheer joy that the festival brings about within everybody. Even cold-hearted Scrooge was able to rekindle bliss and an agreeable temperament as Christmas arrived. Conversely, I will say that the story is a slow burner and tends to become repetitive. Nonetheless, I encourage you to pick it up for it is admirable and well, a mere 110 pages.

‘A Christmas Carol’ is surely profound and marginally dark for a Christmas story but will, by no means, disappoint. Wholly, it lives on for it will never fail to underline the importance of benevolence in a world filled with struggle and ignorance while epitomizing the charisma of the holidays.

“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”

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