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The opening scene to Charles Dickens’ timeless classic “A Christmas Carol” assures us that Scrooge’s late partner Marley is most certainly dead.
Who would dare to say “Bah! Humbug” after reading A Christmas Carol? Charles Dickens wrote the novella in just six weeks before it was first published on December 19 1843 but his morality tale about a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge lives on to this day as a reminder of the importance of the Christmas spirit.
Haunting visits by Scrooge’s business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come have sent shivers down the spines of countless generations of children and adults alike but the ultimate redemption of the “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner” keeps us coming back for more.
Beginning on a “cold, bleak, biting” Christmas Eve and divided into five “staves” or verses, “this Ghostly little book,” as Dickens called it, was intended to “pleasantly” haunt the houses of his readers. Scrooge is chastened enough by the disturbing events of the night –and a bleak glimpse into a “wretched” lonely future - to awake on Christmas Day a changed man and hurry over with a prize turkey to make amends with his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit and his poor but happy family. The tale ends with the narrator repeating the words of the indomitable Cratchit’s sick son Tiny Tim: “God bless us, everyone.” Yes, indeed.
Category: A Christmas Carol