Most helpful critical review
The ways of Scrooge
on April 12, 2002
A Christmas Carol is a story of social conscious, where wrongs are righted and kindness prevails. Set in a time much like today: where poverty is widespread, being of the middle class is popular and a small population holds a large potion of the wealth. Social class dictates life, most lifetimes are spent in a single class and there is seldom movement within the classes. The characters of Dickens novel live, and for the most part, thrive in this environment. They trust in the Lord and their fellowman; during this Christmas season they are charitable and kind, with the exception of Ebenezer Scrooge. He is a cold, heartless man with no compassion or sentiment. He hates Christmas and refuses to give any portion of his wealth to the needy and less fortunate. Scrooge is a cheap man, who doesnï¿½t trust banks, so he heats both his home and office with one small fire, keeps his money in a safe and counts it regularly. It is the only pleasure he allows himself. He is also a lonely man; his business partner, the closest thing he had to a friend, died seven years ago and he has disowned his one remaining relative.
The life of his office clerk, Bob Cratchit, is entirely different. Bob works from dawn until dusk for a poor fifteen shillings a week, and is only begrudgingly given Christmas Day off. Despite this, Bob is a happy man. He has a loving wife, six beautiful children and a warm, cozy home. The Cratchits where not happy with their situation, ï¿½but they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another and contented with the time.ï¿½
The lives of Scrooge and the Cratchits are permanently interlocked after the three ghosts pay Scrooge a visit. His journeys with them and the realizations he comes to, leave him a redeemed man. He changes his behavior, vows to amend the wrongs he has done, but he is not a totally new man. Although Scrooge donates his money to the less fortunate and spends his time with the Cratchits, his actions are purely to appease his conscience. His motivation is to make himself to feel better and to prove that he has not lost all the decent qualities he has when he was younger.
Charles Dickens wrote this novel, his shortest, for the sole purpose of making money to support his family. He had several wives and many children; he spent most of his life living like Bob Cratchit, barley making bills and struggling to get his work noticed. A Christmas Carol was Dickens best selling novel, his intention was for his story to be popular, which it was, but he also added elements that would dig at the emotions of his peers. His depiction of a poor family at Christmas has become a tradition for years, and every Christmas someone reads his story and gives something of themselves to help make Christmas a better holiday for others.