I have endeavoured in this ghostly little book, to raise the ghost of an idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” This is what Charles Dickens, the author himself had to say about ‘A Christmas Carol’, his novella, where the protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge is an apathetic miser, a man so cold that no warmth of affection can approach him, and everyone stays out of his way, even the blind dogs on the streets seem to tell their masters- “No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!”
The warmth and joy of Christmas is nothing but a time to pay more bills for him, a time when you get older and not richer! Though Fred, his nephew, is fully aware about his calloused nature, he still dares to wish him ‘Merry Christmas’ and invites him for dinner. He wants Scrooge to understand this kind, forgiving, charitable and pleasant time of the year.
Irritated by all the happiness and warmth spreading around him, loner Scrooge comes back to his house after he unwillingly gives a day off to his clerk, Bob Cratchit.
Later that night, the visit of Jacob Marley’s ghost, who is weighed down by heavy chains, marks the beginning of a life-changing night for Scrooge. Marley tries to explain Scrooge that he is weaving a similar chain for himself with his callousness and apathy. He warns him to change his ways and become a better man.
Scrooge is then visited by three ghosts who justify their appearance and take Scrooge to his past, his present and give him a glimpse of his future! This visit transforms Scrooge, making him understand the spirit of Christmas and he becomes a changed man. He returns on Christmas Day which he then celebrates with overwhelming joy, surprising everyone around him!
A Christmas Carol makes one realize the importance of one’s deeds in this world- something which we often forget. It”s the actions and emotions that define the humanity in a person, and even the coldest of people can be melted-all they need is an eye opener just like old Scrooge!