Is it really that the of year again already?
Thought I would start this off with a review I actually done last year after spending my last December only reading Christmas themed books. After reading a few I decided rereading a Christmas Carol would be a good idea considering the last time I did it was part of a personal study when I was 14 for my english class.
At 14 – When I was 14 I don’t think I engaged with the story the same way I did last year, which is understandable considering back then I was a teenager that was more focused on what my friends were talking about than what the book I was reading actually said. That being said I do remember actually enjoying the book and finding out the real story behind all the adaptions I have grown up with.
Now I absolutely love the movie Flintstones Christmas Carol and so this was my main source of information for the entire story until I actually read the book. Therefore when I was reading it I found myself continuously picturing specific scenes from the movie as I read certain sections.
Due to this I really like Bob Craigit’s character because all I saw was Barney. However he was actually a very sweet character that I found myself feeling sorry for because even at the start I knew roughly what his poor circumstances were.
I also liked Scrooge’s nephew at 14 even though I found it more difficult to understand why he still tried to speak to his uncle who was so horrible to him. I enjoyed his more positive outlook but again I couldn’t fully appreciate the deliberate contrast between him and his uncle.
Favourite Quote – “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart”
Quite a dark quote but I really loved this at 14 because it was one of the first times I truly believed I started to understand what Charles Dickens was trying to achieve for this character. He cleverly used merry Christmas images and turned them to dark and gruesome thoughts.
At 24 – I feel I enjoyed the book more this time round, probably because this time round it was my choice to read it rather than a choice put on me by my teacher. This time around I was able to focus on the story more and thoroughly enjoyed some of the characters.
I appreciated Scrooge more this time around as with the little added life experience I feel I can understand his bitterness towards people more. I still view him as a bitter old man at points but there is a bit more empathy this time round. I appreciate the change in character by the end of the book because it shows he clearly was not a bad man as everyone believed but misunderstood. He simply went with this persona because it set him apart from the young wide eyed boy that had a greater chance at happiness before money took over his life.
I appreciate the overall message (particularly stated by Scrooge’s nephew) more because I am also at an age where I can understand the simple things are the most important in life. I can understand that money will never succeed in making you truly happy and sometimes all you need is a night with good company.
Speaking of which I love Scrooge’s nephew. As stated above I liked him at 14 too but even then I feel that was more to do with him being the clear good to Scrooge’s “evil”. Now however I absolutely adore him because of the simplicity of him. He truly sees the good in everyone and is quick to tell his uncle that he has no reason to be so down and negative. Considering you are told Scrooge’s sister died at a young age you can believe that her son was therefore also young when she passed and so to me it makes it even more incredible how positive he can be. Where you have Scrooge being bitter about what he has ended up with in life, Fred accepts what he has and instead chooses to be grateful for the little he does have. He clearly cares deeply for his uncle as he happily accepts him into his house when Scrooge appears after his visits from the ghosts.
Favourite Quote –
“The only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut up hearts freely…”
I love this quote because it shows Fred for the positive, forgiving soul he is. I also think it’s such a sad mention towards how as humans we tend to only show compassion for one another on specific days. It is sad but true so hopefully it helps to make everyone that reads it try to act towards others as if it’s always Christmas.
“I wear the chain I forged in life…”
Again this is quite a dark quote from a pretty chilling scene but I love the simplicity of the message, showing Scrooge that we reap what we sow. Everything we do in life has an impact on ourselves and those around us so we should try to bring positivity to the world rather than greed and hatred.
Clearly I have learnt to appreciate the message in the book more as I get older and I truly believe this book deserves to be seen as a classic. It’s a timeless story that no matter how many years have passed is still relevant because we all get complacent in life and sometimes lose our way as we begin to see success.
Let me know what you all think about A Christmas Carol