Today rather than having a relaxing day reading, I wheelbarrowed a third of a ton bag of soil into my back garden through my Shed. I am certainly going to be in pain tomorrow as a result. But I must admit it was nice to have a physical job to do for once rather than sitting typing which is what I do for a living, and my hobbies. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is my second ‘Christmasy’ read of the year. One of the reasons I chose it is because I am well aware that the book is known to be short (unusual for a classic) and this would help me get through an extra book before the end of my year. My reading challenge is not going well, I still have 6 books to read before the end of the year.
It is because of this book that ‘Scrooges’ exist. The word has come to mean those who do not enjoy Christmas, this year I will admit I am not looking forward to Christmas. I have missed the traditions of going shopping on my birthday at the Christmas Markets. The smell of Bratwurst and burgers, the mounds of fudge and chocolates, the useless items that you buy use once and move on. All of that was not possible this year. I haven’t even put my Christmas tree up.
I am not sure if there is another holiday book which has had such an effect, the only thing I can think of is ‘The Grinch’.
Scrooge’s character is well known for being mean and cheap. Not liking frivolity which naturally comes with Chssitmas, when everyone is thinking about others and putting others first this concept is not something that he is on board with. This is contrasted by his nephew who is clearly full of the cheer of the season and cares about others around him.
Other characters that we see are often see at different times in their lives, from Scrooge’s christmas’ growing up and in his first job, to his ex-fiance who clearly loved him but realised that they were going down two different paths in their lives. The other main character is probably Marley, Scrooge’s business partner who passed away prior to the start of the book. He starts Scrooge on his journey, and without the intervention Scrooge would have stayed an unlovable and unsympathetic character.
As someone who usually dislikes Vitorian literature due to the overly long descriptions this book is surprisingly light on them. Despite this the book still gives the readers a good sense of what is happening and the surroundings which is paramount for the acth story. While the book is about Christmas and all that it entails, the book is rather gothic, reflecting the typical writing at the time.
One of the main themes of the book is redemption and forgiveness. Scrooge a character who can be difficult to feel sorry for. He seems to hate all those around him and has no kindness in his heart. However he is redeemed through the kindness of his deceased business partner. This transformation allows Scrooge to realise that the positive vibes that are surrounding christmas endear you to others, and help you to see the good in others throughout the year. Christmas is a time for people to forgive and forget about a number of things, though this year it will certainly be more difficult.
The other theme that I wanted to share was family. Scrooge’s family are seen at different points, both his biological family and the family he adopts as he grows, both in business and romantically. Scrooge’s dark life is in opposition to those of his families and he is clearly reluctant to reach out as he is concerned that he will be rejected given his past. However the transformation that he goes through helps to smooth the wheels and allows him to continue to improve for the rest of his life.
If you are looking for a Christmas read (especially those that are now not able to be with their families) then this is a nice quick one that you can read on christmas day. Have you ever read A Christmas Carol, if so what did you think?