AUTHOR – Prolific 19th century author, is famous for his remarkable characters and mastery of prose in the telling of their lives. Loved for his invaluable contribution to classic English literature, his good, bad and comic characters and realistic portrayal of contemporary life in Victorian England continue to fascinate readers worldwide
SYNOPSIS – A Christmas Carol debuted in 1843 and has touched millions of hearts since. Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge is at the center of the story. His idea of life is an outlook of hard end capitalism mixed with misanthropy; this is a story of his transformation from a cynical mean butcher minded money monger to an emotional replica of his younger self. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to come, he learns eternal lessons of charity, kindness, and goodwill.
PULKIT SPEAKS – I first came across this story when it was served as a play in class 10th. A shorter version of it was good enough to move my teenage self and the lessons it taught me has stayed with me ever since. I was also lucky enough to enact the play version next year in class 11th and while playing central character of Scrooge on stage, I got a chance to go deeper into the mindset of this protagonist, which is one of the reason why this story in particular is etched so deep into my soul.
The story is divided in five chapters after a beautiful beginning preface by the great author. Chapter 1 titled Marley’s ghost tactfully establishes the character of Ebeneezer Scrooge as a mean-spirited, miserly old man, while his clerk shivers he chooses not to pay for coal, makes mockery of his nephew who invites him for a Christmas party, reacts bitterly to charity seekers, and calls the entire festive spirit a humbug. Once the character building is done by action and statement pointers, the supernatural element seeps in the story and stars playing with the mental elements of thought process of the protagonists but also many readers who aspire to undermine kindness over success and money in life. Jacob Marley his old deceased friend and business partner who was equally shrewd and cruel visits him. His condition is terrible. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. He warns scrooge that unless he changes, he is bound to suffer the same fate. He also informs scrooge that in near future (same night in play version and successive nights in book), he would be visited by three more spirits and each of them would tell him important messages. Christmas ghosts of the Past, the Present and the Future who come to make him realize things he lost while becoming the man he is, things he is still losing while living the life he has and things he would end up with if he never changes. There are elements and intermediate stories in all these journeys, each pointing to the importance of virtues of life and how they are essential to have an honored loveable legacy post death. This is a beautiful story. A must read. If you attach your heart, which you would, It is bound to stay with you, probably till your last breath.
RATING – 4.5/5 – strongly recommended to be gifted to mean people around you and to children if you never want them to worship money over small happiness’s of life.
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Also a very convenient online reading link for the same.