A Christmas Carol Stave 3 Commentary

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The Ghost of Christmas Present serves as the central symbol of the Christmas ideal--generosity, goodwill, and celebration. Appearing on a throne made of food, the spirit evokes thoughts of prosperity, satiety, and merriment. Similarly, the moral outlook of A Christmas Carol has little to do with the solemnity of a religious occasion. Christmas, in Dickens' mind, should not bring about self-denial, renunciation, or emotional withdrawal. Christmas is a time of sharing one's riches--emotional, spiritual, monetary, etc.--with the community of man. A feast is a wonderful thing but only if one has loved ones with whom to share it. In this sense, the Ghost of Christmas Present also represents empathy enabl ing Scrooge to not only see the Cratchits but to feel the sorrow and hardships of their daily toil. In essence, the celebratory aspects of Christmas that Dickens promotes are grounded in this empathetic generosity. Christmas should stimulate within people a concern for the wants and needs of ot hers and a euphoric joy in fulfilling these desires.

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The scene at Bob Cratchit's unassuming little abode is pivotal to the development of the novella. Dickens uses the opportunity to put forth a poignant criticism of…


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