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****A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

Reviewed February 1, 2003.
Bantam Classics, New York, 2002.  First published in 1843.  100 pages.

Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol, so I don’t need to say anything about the plot.   On reading the story in the original, I found it an interesting contrast with the recently popular book The Lovely Bones.  However awful it may seem to picture Marley in chains and moaning through eternity, it struck me as refreshing to read that people are accountable for their actions, that there are powers that seek to make us good people.  In The Lovely Bones, heaven is about whatever makes you happy.  There’s no accountability for actions, good or bad.  In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge sees the consequences of doing wrong and transforms into “as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town or borough, in the good old world.”  I find that perspective more uplifting than the idea that nothing I do makes any difference in the end.

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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