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“I heard a radio conversation suggesting that Dicken’s was saying “more than appears on the surface.”
I think I’ll also download the program and try to listen “between the lines.”
If anybody knows anything about it please come forward.”
It’s a novella, not that long … why not read it?
I believe Dickens was himself moved by his own writing. He grew up poor, even though he considered himself to be of an educated class of folk. He was disappointed in his pop, who was the model for David Copperfield. Any author is influenced by some balance of his own culture and education, which was experiencing a resurgence of happier times of traditional Christmas as opposed to crass capitalism which had overtaken it (now where have I heard that before ;))… plus he was a devout believer in the Grace of God through Jesus Christ.
Be careful trying to read something into it that wasn’t intended. I think it stands on its own, a story with very strong moral implications, which he and many other authors of his time wrote about. But that doesn’t mean it’s imagery is totally apparent today. And maybe it’s OK to attach personality to it in any case.
Here’s what I see, not that I’m a critical expert on DIckens …
1) Marley’s Ghost – an image of drudgery and loneliness … Purgatory and Perdition.
2) The Ghost of Christmas Past – appeared in a strange light, similar to angels in scripture, which are always messengers. Scrooge’s father appears to have been something like himself, but was changed and became “kinder than he was” before. His sister Fan had a large heart, but died, a predecessor in the story to Tiny Tim, who also had an outgoing unassuming spirit, but was physically frail. Link and contrast.
3) The Ghost of Christmas Present – Who wore a fancy robe that had magic powers to whisk them away .. which reminds me of the coat of many colors in Genesis, Israel’s gift to his favorite son Joseph. And of the woman who had a bloody discharge (for what was it — 10 years?), who with faith touched Jesus’ robe and was instantly cured.
4) The Ghost of Christmas Future – Definitely appears as the Angel of Death, the Grim Reaper. ‘Nuff said.
So, and I think this is why Dickens wrote this beloved story, we have messages of warning, but never without the gift of hope, which I always believe is at the heart of Christmas. And there you have it… Scrooge gets “born again” … becomes a different person, better than he was, no longer miserable and alone, finally able to bear real fruit.
Funny, though. If you think about it too much, I suppose one could say it’s still self-serving. He gives up his obsession with money, but he still gets plenty out of it. Now everybody likes him, he gets invited to dinner, has a lot of followers on Twitter, etc., etc. *<|:-)