Matilda Reviews: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

232573Goodreads Summary:

Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn’t like…and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. 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.

Why I Read It:

Like many people, I have yet to experience a Christmas during which A Christmas Carol is not on the television at some point during the day. Despite this, though, I’ve only seen snatches of the movie, so I thought I’d pick up the book this year.

Plot: 4/5

Classic. Everyone knows it. Ebenezer, the Original Scrooge, is the most miserly old man you’ll ever meet. He doesn’t have a single kind word or deed to spare for anyone, and he has no use for Christmas. Of course, all of that changes when he is visited by three ghostly acquaintances.

This story is very heartwarming in the way that Scrooge transforms at the end, which makes it a satisfying Christmas tale.

Characterization: 5/5

Dickens has given us some of his most memorable characters in A Christmas Carol. “Scrooge” has become a household term. He is outrageously hateful at the beginning, and terribly pitiful in the middle, and wonderfully lovable at the end. Scrooge’s character (and the changes he undergoes) is what makes the lesson of the book so strong. And of course, Scrooge’s foils–Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, his sister Fan–only serve to highlight how crotchety he is.

Voice/Style: 5/5

I love Dickens, so I love his writing style. This book didn’t disappoint–it was in turns funny, eerie, sentimental and heartwarming. I liked that the creepiness of the ghosts balanced out the at times sickly sweet narrative.

Additional Elements: 5/5

My favorite thing about this story is the method that the ghosts use to turn Scrooge’s heart from stone to warm, beating flesh. It’s not just that he is  scared into change, although fear does play a part in his transformation. No, he also remembers what he once had and the people he once loved and who loved him. Memory, empathy, and knowledge help him to see how much he still has to offer the world. And I think that’s a valuable lesson during Christmastime or anytime: remember the good times in life, be grateful for what you have, and share with people who don’t have as much.

Recommended for: 

People who want a good Christmas classic or a quick, heartwarming read.

 

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2 thoughts on “Matilda Reviews: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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