A Christmas Carol


A Christmas Carol Essay, Research Paper

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol, although occurring at a different time period than

today, still holds values and lessons that are important in society today. The

main character, Ebeneezer Scrooge, starts off having no feelings for others or

any Christmas spirit, but changes from his gloomy, dark appearance to a carefree,

child-like persona at the end. Dickens shows in A Christmas Carol that personal

greed will lead to peril, while kindness and generosity lead to personal


One of Dickens social concerns was the lack of sympathy or feelings that

people have toward other people. In the story, Scrooge had no feelings toward

his family or friends and held a strictly professional relationship with them,

creating a hostile bond between them. For example, Bob Cratchit’s wife does not

like the idea have toasting to Scrooge because of the way he treats his long

time employee. Also, Scrooge is looked down upon by the charity collectors

because he simply states that they should die to accommodate the others who need

it. Secondly, society has a negative view on Scrooge because of his attitudes

and shows no feelings or compassion for Scrooge in the future. For example, the

thieves are able to steal Scrooge’s possessions because no body cares about

Scrooge or his things. Also, the businessmen that Scrooge does business with

regularly show no feelings about his death and go to his funeral simply for food.

Dicken’s shows a way to resolve the problem by simply treating others how you

want them to treat you. At the end Scrooge’s attitude changes and changes in

how society will treat him are shown to be inevitable.

Another social concern is the priority of family over money and personal

gains. Money proves to be the golden idol that is worshipped by the people in

the Christmas Carol, but also proves to destroy lives. For example, Scrooge

gives up a chance at having a loving family when he chooses money over his

girlfriend Belle, who turns out to have a happy family with another loving

husband. Also, Scrooge’s old business partner, Marley, put his life to waste

because of money and suffers pain in his afterlife which could have been easily

avoided. A Christmas Carol also shows that people can be happy without money,

just as long as the love is genuine. For example, Scrooge’s nephew married

happily not to a wealthy lady, but a middle class ordinary woman and are happy

together. Also Bob Cratchit’s family, despite poverty and lack of food, still

have a loving environment that keeps the family together and happy. Dickens

shows that simply sacrificing for friends and family can bring happiness and joy.

Scrooge doubles Bob Cratchit’s salary while showing his appreciation and visits

his nephew resulting in a stronger bond that money can not buy..

Another social concern that Dicken’s portrays in A Christmas Carol is that

people do not know the true meaning of Christmas; Scrooge throughout the story

is given opportunities to display Christmas acts but requires the assistance of

the three spirits. First, he was invited to dinner at his nephews, but he

bluntly refused calling Christmas a humbug. Family is the most important part

of Christmas and should always take priority. Scrooge already failed at an

attempt at family and had a chance to make amends with his sister’s son.

Secondly, Scrooge also refused to donate any money that he hoards to the needy

when the charity collectors come to collect. Even though Scrooge has more than

enough to generously donate and spread around , he refuses to donate saying that

he pays enough in taxes. Christmas should be a time of generosity and a time to

help those who are not as fortunate. In the story Scrooge realizes his lack of

compassion and donates generously and takes up his nephews offer.

Dicken’s A Christmas Carol shows universal themes that society should learn

to live by everyday and not just holidays or special occasions. Scrooge learns

these lessons with the visit of three spirits and a journey into his painful

past and future so he could see his attitude toward people and societies

attitude towards him; this allows him to change and create a new path for

himself other than the one set out. A Christmas Carol makes readers aware of

their personal attitudes and presents a way to change for the better.

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