Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Christmas Carol and its oddities

Preface: I found this post in a txt file on a 3-1/2" diskette (I am old enough to call it a floppy disk but do not do so out of respect for the youngin's who may not know the origin of that term). I can't say I authored it, but I find it an entertaining read. If you know who wrote it, please let me know so proper credit can be given.

One last aside: I do enjoy reading A Christmas Carol each December, and even am proud to say I own a book which contains photos of the actual manuscript Dicken's wrote. It is interesting to see his margin notes and edits along the way.

Has anyone else noticed what a weird story "A Christmas Carol" is?

We start with Scrooge, who is built up as a man who is only concerned with himself and his money. He runs a successful business, but doing what exactly, we're never told. All we know is that his business only benefits Scrooge, and people give him lots of money for some reason, while no one ever boycotts him or gives their business to a competitor. Apparently Scrooge does something where he can just command people to give him money, and they do.

Next, he's visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, who has long chains that symbolize Marley's lack of concern for the poor in life. Now that Marley is dead, he helps the poor by hanging out in one of the nicest privately-owned houses in all of England.

Following this, three ghosts visit Scrooge and show him the error of his wealthy ways. One example he's shown is the house of Bob Cratchit, where we apparently learn that having a large family that you have so much trouble supporting that you can't provide sufficient medical care for your lame son, and having to let him die later on, is a much better way to live.

Why these ghosts never grace Queen Victoria's presence and make her open up to the castle to the homeless is never explained. Perhaps Scrooge was better off than Queen Victoria, since he was in business where he could simply command people to give him money.

In the end, Scrooge changes his ways, and is able to financially help out only the Cratchits, his nephew Fred, and a charity or two, while the ghosts with the ability to traverse all of time and space do nothing more to help the poor, and never directly contact the poor themselves.

Huh?



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