When his novella, A Christmas Carol, was first
published in 1843, little could Charles Dickens have
known that it would become one of the most beloved
perennial Christmas favorites of all time...not only in
the original printed form, but adapted for television
and motion pictures in numerous presentations as
The first silent movie based on Dickens' story
was released in 1901, thirty-one years after his
death in 1870. Since then, his story has been told
in productions featuring notable performances by
actors such as Reginald Owen, Alastair Sim and
George C. Scott. Other unique portrayals of the
leading character include Jim Backus in the
animated Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol and
Bill Murray in Scrooged.
For the two or three people on the planet who are
unfamiliar with A Christmas Carol, I offer the
following short synopsis.
The story of A Christmas Carol centers around a
greedy miser by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge
who is visited by the tormented ghost of his
deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, on
Christmas Eve. Marley tells Scrooge that he will
be visited by three spirits...namely, the Ghost of
Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present,
and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
Marley goes on to say that if Scrooge decides to
change his evil ways, he will prevent his afterlife
from being as horrible as his own. Will Scrooge pay
heed to Marley's good advice, or will he continue
on his selfish path in life? I'm not going divulge the
answer to that question here so as not to spoil the
ending for the two or three people I alluded to.
The rest of you already know what happens.
There's more to the story including an assortment
of other characters...in particular Scrooge's
relationship with his employee, Bob Cratchit,
and Bob's seriously ill son, Tiny Tim.
A Christmas Carol has become a classic story
because it vividly illustrates the long struggle
between good and evil. It also points a finger,
as did the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, to a
dismal future if a person's evil ways are allowed
to continue without any attempt at redemption.
The evil ones in today's world could certainly
learn from this!
Charles Dickens apparently wrote his now classic
tale while under a great amount of financial pressure
in his life...a situation that many artists can relate to.
While Dickens may have created A Christmas Carol
with the hope of his own financial salvation, he also
penned a story which portrays the hope of salvation
for all mankind...a world of peace and harmony.
In order to achieve this, we must all live our lives
with good purpose and unselfish ways.
If you think about it...isn't that what Christmas is