A Christmas Carol

how does a Christmas carol explore the idea that wealth is about more than money


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At the beginning of the novella, Scrooge seems aware of only the present tense, the tense of capitalism. The now is the time to make or lose money, and the past and future exist only to serve the present. Dickens's attention to clocks and bells reinforces Scrooge's mania with time.

However, Scrooge is redeemed when he learns to integrate the past, present, and future into his worldview. He steps out of the capitalist obsession with the present tense and into a timeless framework in which qualities like generosity and love cannot be quantified. His appreciation of the three tenses also comes in one fell swoop, overnight, and suggests that the epiphany, the sudden revelation of a profound meaning in life, encapsulates all three tenses.