A Christmas Carol
Ghost of an Idea
Much of Charles Dickens' representation of morality in his most famous of Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol, is derived from "the wisdom of our ancestors." (1) From the beginning of his narrative Dickens explains his usage of the phrase "dead as a doornail," in relation to Marley, as trusting in the "wisdom of our ancestors," even if it were not the simile he himself would have invented. He continues to carefully craft his story in attribute to traditional culture.
Christmastime, as a setting, stands for the temporary breakdown of restraints felt within a normal life in a Dickens society. Scrooge's nephew describes Christmastime as:
...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, and to think of people below them as if they really
were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of
creatures bound on other journeys....though it has never put a
scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me
good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it! (6-7)
Indeed the fragmentation and restoration of a set of values is the theme of A Christmas Carol- a story set not in...
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