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.