"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

30-Day Lockdown Retreat Journey: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (REST DAY)

Today is REST DAY of the 30-Day Lockdown Retreat Journey: A review of the first half of the lockdown especially the graces received. Each one is different. There are those among us who have completed the first 15 and others may have gone through a few but it does not matter.

Point Of Departure:

Charles Dickens' quintessential novel "A Christmas Carol" was written in October and November 1843 and published in the following month of December. It was an instant success when it was first published 175 years ago. It is now considered an ageless novel—a classic that has been featured in at least 27 live action and animated films including one that is currently being filmed. The bottomline of the story is about the power of possessions in defining or shaping a human person. Think of those that you have attached yourself to in the past that has shaped the person you are now. The most famous of all the characters of Charles Dickens is Scrooge. Why? Because he is very much like everyone of us.

What follows here is the complete story or synopsis. DO NOT READ if you are planning to watch the film first.

Full Title: A Christmas Carol in Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

Principal Dramatis Personae:

Ebenezer Scrooge—a miserly old businessman
Fred—his nephew
Jacob Marley—ghost of Scrooge's old partner
Belle—Scrooge's sweetheart when young
Bob Cratchit—clerk to Scrooge
Tiny Tim— Cratchit's crippled son
Mr. Fezziwig—Scrooge's former employer
The three spirits who visit Scrooge by night:
Ghost of Christmas Past
Ghost of Christmas Present
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Synopsis by Nicholas Rochester (Panorama of The Works of Charles Dickens, Third Millennium Press Ltd. 2005)

It is Christmas Eve—Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his cold counting house, his clerk attempting to warm his hands by a candle—Scrooge's nephew, Fred, enters, wishing him a Merry Christmas—Scrooge replies "Bah! Humbug!" and enters into a diatribe against the frivolity and jollity of the season, refusing Fred's invitation to Christmas dinner—two charitable gentlemen ask Scrooge for a contribution for the poor—he send's them away empty-handed—at close of business, Scrooge grudgingly accepts his clerk Cratchit's right to a day off on the morrow, then sets off through the cold and dark to a solitary meal in his usual tavern then he hears a knock—when he arrives at his own door, the knocker momentarily seems to be the face of his partner, Jacob Marley, dead these seven years—inside Scrooge is the ghost of his dead partner—he tells Scrooge that he wanders the world wearing the chains he has forged during his life—it is made of money-boxes, heavy purses, padlocks and ledgers—Scrooge, he says, can yet (Remember the vav on Day 4) avoid such a fate if he will but take heed of the three spirits who will visit him—the ghost departs and Scrooge goes to bed—when he wakes it is yet darkest night, and time seems to have lost its way—now comes the first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past—it takes Scrooge back to his childhood—he sees his old employer, Fezziwig, throwing a jolly Christmas party with music and dancing—the next vision is of Scrooge in the prime of his life being dismissed by his sweetheart, Belle—Scrooge, she says, has changed: "... another idol has displaced me... A golden one."—then Scrooge sees her celebrating Christmas with her husband and family—the next spirit to visit Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Present—he conducts Scrooge to a journey of many places, showing him everyone celebrating Christmas and enjoying themselves, including the Cratchits—the spirit says that Cratchit's little son, Tiny Tim, will die if the shadows remain unaltered by the future—yet the family drink the health of their employer—they visit Scrooge's nephew's family, who express how sorry they are for Scrooge, that he cannot join in the world's jollity—then the spirit takes him to other places, even the homes of the sick and the poor, where celebrations are underway—finally the spirit shows Scrooge scrawny children, Ignorance and Want—the third phantom, hooded and fearsome, is the—Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come—he shows Scrooge businessmen talking about a dead man—a dead man in bed—a family discussing the death of a feared creditor—and they again visit the Cratchit household, where Tiny Tim lies dead—Scrooge sees his office occupied by another—and at the churchyard the spirit shows him his tombstone—the last ghost vanishes, and Scrooge realizes that he can yet (The Hebrew vav once again) change the future—it is now Christmas Day—joyfully and chuckling, he gets a passingboy to get him the prize goose from the poulterer and take it to the Cratchits—he goes out into the streets and encounters again the two charity collectors, this time making them a handsome donation—then he makes his way to Fred's house—"I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?"— a wonderful dinner followed by games and much happiness ensue—next day he gives Bob Cratchit a wage increase—a reformed character, Scrooge becomes a second father to Tiny Tim—and lives the rest of his days in happy sociability.


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