Title: A Christmas Carol: Special Edition
Author: Charles Dickens
No. of Pages: 126
First Published: 1843
Synopsis (Courtesy of B&N): “Celebrate the season with Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—and discover how the greatest Christmas classic was based on the greatest story ever told.”
Comments and Critique: In the spirit of the day, I thought it would be fitting to take the time to re-read A Christmas Carol. The last time I read it, I was in junior high, and we had to do a detailed analysis of each section plus went to see the play performed on stage. While I have seen various versions multiple times since then (the Mickey Mouse version being my favorite), I figured it was time to remind myself just what the original entailed.
Who does not know the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge and his ghostly visitors? This story has been told and retold so many times that it could become very easy to lose the original intent of the story – salvation and redemption. The version I read was an annotated version, written specifically with Christian insights and questions. While this aspect of the story now seems completely obvious to me, I had never put the Christian beliefs of salvation and redemption of man through Jesus’ birth in the same context as Scrooge “seeing the light” and changing his ways. It is an interesting connection that now makes me appreciate the story and Dickens’ writing ability that much more.
According to my annotated version, Dickens was an extremely religious man and put many of his ideas of redemption, suffering, goodwill towards others, and salvation into the story. The repetition of the number three has obvious ties to Christianity. Again, this took my understanding of this extremely famous story to an entirely new level. The symbolism and message behind them is that much deeper. A Christmas Carol is not just another feel-good holiday story. It truly belongs to this Christian season of redemption.
Another aspect of the story I had forgotten but about which I was reminded is Dickens based much of the stories of poverty, apprenticeship and other hardships on his own experiences. He lost a beloved sibling to illness due specifically to malnourishment from the family’s poverty. Knowing this, Tiny Tim’s plight is so much more poignant.
In all, I am glad that I did not rely only on the movies this year to remember the story. There is so much more to the story than what the movies show. The annotated version and the connection to the true spirit of the season reminded me just hos special this story truly is. Thank you to Julie Harabedian at FSB Associates for sending me this review copy!