Ron’s #49: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I have never read A Christmas Carol even though I’ve seen several movies, many play versions, and even acted as Bob Cratchit in middle school. I felt that I knew the story well, so never bothered to read it. This changed, however, when I watched the Jim Carrey’s version of the story. It showed a much darker version of the story, and I was intrigued to read the book. This story really is darker than the usual presentations. This darkness made the redemption of Scrooge even more vivid and bright.

The writing struck me as especially unique and interesting. I’ve included some passages that I found worthly of marking:

“…turned to misanthropic ice.”

“Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.”

“It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”

“There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth!” “You fear the world too much,” she answered, gently.”

“Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.”

“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.”

We often think of Tiny Tim from this story, but I think Dickens was far more concerned with the factory laborers, the miners, the homeless, the “working poor,” than he was merely about Tiny Tim. What are we doing to lightly the burden of those hungry, poor, disabled, lonely?

About Ron 173 Articles
I teach English and government in Okinawa, Japan. I love reading theology and fiction, and helps keep me accountable. Reading with three kids under 5 is a bit of a challenge, but I keep trying to find ways to read more. My favorites writers are C. S. Lewis, Flannery O’ Connor, and Raymond Carver.

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