A Christmas Carol

Would you judge me if I said I hadn’t read A Christmas Carol until this December?  And I’m an English teacher!   Luckily the student-lead book club at my school decided they wanted to make sure they had read this Christmas classic before they went off to college.  I’m glad they made this selection because it was certainly time for me to get my feet wet with this classic.

carolThis review is hard to write. What’s there really to say about one of the most well-known and adapted Christmas tales? The curious thing I found while I was read was how quickly Scrooge reacts emotionally.  As soon as the ghost of Christmas took Scrooge to his boy-hood school Scrooge almost immediately breaks down into tears.  In most of the movie versions (which is my only experience with this tale) Scrooge doesn’t seem to react emotionally until he revisits Fuzzywig’s party. 

I don’t know if it’s because Scrooge has had such a horrible childhood and revisiting it is like a trigger, unleashing what’s really been gnawing at him making him so horrible to people. Or maybe it’s that by going back, he knows what’s to come or is on to the ghosts’ mission.  I personally think that it’s a dream sequence and Scrooge is reacting so emotionally because his subconscious is finally able to process what has lead to his current state.

What remains in my mind is that Dickens is able to get at the heart of Christmas without being overly religious or falling into the schmaltzy Santa Claus fluff.

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