From pessimist to optimist for Scrooge?

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From pessimist to optimist for Scrooge?

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jul 9, 2012, 7:15am

I first read Christmas Carol when I was about 12 years old. As well as the books, we often find we are interested in reading about the authors and their lives. If in someway, their writings may be autobiographical. I was interested to find that his family had made themselves well known. His son Henry Fielding Dickens was named after one of his father's favourite authors and became a respected lawyer who was knighted in 1922. His great grandson Gerald Charles Dickens, a contemporary actor, performed a one man version of A Christmas Carol, which must have been quite a feat in itself! But did the novel end in way you first expected it to, and is Scrooge's transformation even believable?

Redigerat: jul 9, 2012, 10:42am

Perhaps it's the sustainability that's questionable. It's not surprising that Scrooge would wake up feeling a new man after this traumatic experience, but that he would continue in his new mindset instead of falling back into old habits is more unbelievable. I suppose it's possible, but my experience in life indicates that it is unlikely.

jul 9, 2012, 2:44pm

I think as a human beings, we like the 'idea' of being able to change, but in reality, find it one of the hardest things to do. Scrooge made a tremendous change not only his life but in his whole persona. I wonder, if any of us decided to do this, how long it would last for? Such things, for instance, as racism and hatred, are ingrained in many, and a force of change would be an impossibility. Yet Scrooge was at one time an amiable young man with a fiance and the prospect of having a loving wife and family, until he was spurned. But I thought he was able to change because basically he was good in heart. He came to appreciate once again, as with his kindness to the Crachitt family, that family life is backbone of all men, and love and human kindness the infrastructure that supports it.

Redigerat: jul 9, 2012, 6:43pm

Yes, I think this was a story about redemption, not so much starting new as recovering characteristics Scrooge had at some time in his life before he made the wrong choices. It seems to me very much a book about second chances. I wouldn't say it is as simple as pessimism to optimism so much as Scrooge becomes a person who understands and celebrates Christmas, and his charitableness and generosity spill over into the rest of his life.

Every year I watch the Patrick Stewart version on TV. A couple years ago I re-read the book. I'm amazed at how well it stands up. It is to me still a very moving story, a nearly perfect book with no excessive scenes or lines. Most of Dickens' books have so much padding.

jul 9, 2012, 6:43pm

That's true, I was forgetting that he wasn't always the unhappy, miserable cynic - so it's not necessarily a transformation so much as a rediscovering. That could perhaps overcome my hesitation over the believability of his change becoming a long-lasting thing.

jul 9, 2012, 6:47pm

Scrooge's nephew Fred is one of the great heroes in literature. Fred keeps his door open to his uncle every year, despite the fact that he is ridiculed and criticized by friends for doing so. It is because of Fred's generosity that Scrooge has a place to go on Christmas Eve where he is always welcome. Good old Fred.

jul 9, 2012, 6:50pm

Indeed! There aren't many Freds in the world (and I'm realistically including myself in the not-Fred category).

jul 10, 2012, 12:25am

Yes, he showed a complete contrast to Scrooge's nature, almost like yin yang. Such opposites - Scrooge with his dark and cold attitude, and Fred with his warm heart, always hoping his uncle would have a change of mind. A bit like superheroes in comic books, the dark, shady character and the evil nemesis. The good guy fighting the evil with good, almost in some way hoping a change would take place.