Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A Christmas Carol (full title, A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being A Ghost Story of Christmas)
The tale begins on Christmas Eve seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley. That night , the ghost of Jacob Marley appears before Scrooge and warns him that his soul will be bearing heavy chains for eternity if he does not change his greedy ways, and also predicts that a series of other ghosts will follow. Three Christmas ghosts visit Scrooge during the course of the night, fulfilling Marley's prophecy. The first, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to the scenes of his boyhood and youth which stir the old skinflint's gentle and tender side. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to several radically differing scenes (a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner, the family feast of Scrooge's near-impoverished clerk Bob Crachit, a miner's cottage, and a lighthouse among other sites) in order to evince from the miser a sense of responsibility for his fellow man. The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, harrows Scrooge with dire visions of the future if he does not learn and act upon what he has witnessed. Crippled Tiny Tim Crachit does not die as the ghost had warned was possible and Scrooge becomes a different man, treating his fellow men with kindness, generosity, and compassion, and gaining a reputation as a man who embodies the spirit of Christmas.