A Critical Review of Symbolism in a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Essay by Evangeline Sinclair ENC 1102 Outline I. Thesis: The novel A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens, displays the plight of man though the vision of ghosts reminiscing on the past, present and future if he chooses to stay of his chosen path of life. A. An introduction by Charles Dickens in his usual jovial is given. II. The first of three ghosts to visit Mr. Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Past, an apparition of a child to adult. A. This specter represents Christmas times that have come and gone. B. He takes Mr. Scrooge through the past to show how his father shunned and abused him in the past which later lead Scrooge to follow in his father’s footsteps. III. The second ghost is the Ghost of Christmas Present, is a gentle jovial giant. A. He shows Mr.
Scrooge the families of his only living relative and employee wishes him the best in spite of his “Bah Hug” behavior towards his fellow occupants of London. B. Here, Mr. Scrooge is taken on journeys to show rich or poor the joy of a holiday celebration commencing regardless the situation. IV. The final ghost is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, a silent, solemn spirit. A. This dark spirit shows Mr. Scrooge what may become Christmas future if allowed. B. He is shown how his death impacts those around him. V. The three major symbols of Christmas Past, Present and To Come in the novel A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens have been shown throughout this essay. From childhood, my favorite holiday has always been Christmas. One book-turned-movie I long to see during this mystical holiday is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Like many Christmas stories, it depicts men at their worst through greed, society, and family values. Later, they grow to appreciate all they have now, then, and in the future. By way of intervention, Ebenezer Scrooge receives a life or death lesson with the aid of three ghosts: the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. “I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.
May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” A Christmas Carol unfolds in 1840’s London with miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Ebenezer, a strong, stern and unsympathetic bachelor has pushed away all that was good in his life and now is on collision course to revisit what was then. “Solitary as an oyster…” we might well be puzzled by such a notion because beneath the miser’s outward chilliness, there seems to be, as the narrator says, more “cold within him.” The story unfolds with an ex-business partner of Mr. Scrooge covered in his woes, the late Jacob Marley, whom I believe marks the inevitable of what is to come if a life alteration does not commence. Although the spirit has surrounded Mr. Scrooge for nearly 7 years it is only now that Scrooge physically sees the inevitable. As promised the Ghost of Christmas Past appeared as a combination of then and now changing body types to all that once shared an acquaintance with the old man.
Next, the Ghost of Christmas Present, a gentle giant, takes Mr. Scrooge on a course to visit families to show what impact his lack of sympathy caused. There is the family of his faithful employee Bob Crachit as well as his very own nephew Fred whom he has misused most of his life. In spite of Scrooge’s attitude towards the Christmas holiday, Fred continues with their celebration of the season as well as gives a toast in Scrooge’s honor. In the Christmas Present, Dickens celebrates Christmas positively, with the animated descriptions of the streets and shops on Christmas Even, the superbly inclusive presentation of the Cratchit family’s Christmas dinner and the fun and jollity in Scrooge’s nephew’s household.
The final apparition, a silent phantom type whose presence frightens the old man as it does not converse, agree or disagree—simply points a demanding finger to what appears to be a doomed Scrooge if he does not change his ways toward life, money, and the every pursuit of happiness. “The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come demonstrates to Scrooge that the poorest of people can celebrate Christmas with joy and magnanimity and give him an ominous warning of what will transpire if he does not change”. During this visit, Ebenezer is left wondering for his on being as he has yet to catch vision of himself. During his searching he learns of the death of Bob Crachit’s crippled son, Tiny Tim which was caused by money and healthcare or lack thereof. He learns of his death and the reactions from those in the business community as well as his on housekeeping staff. He learns first hand how lonely his life and death have become due to his own actions. During this intervention Ebenezer Scrooge was a transformed man. Like many in society, greed and the sense of power sometimes blinds a man with the world, only to later wish more time was available when facing the inevitable.
In his dreams, Mr. Scrooge not only learned the true meaning of Christmas, he also realizes what he has given up for the glory of greed On this fateful Christmas Eve he has denied all he has had of human life—family, friendship, love, charity—indeed, all fellow-feeling. He can no longer find life enough to breathe in isolation; he must break out into the world. The dreams—inner explosions of conscience—are the last resort.