I read Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ for the readalong hosted by Caroline from Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Delia from Postcards from Asia, as part of Dickens in December. Here are the readalong questions and my answers to them.
Is this the first time you are reading the story?
This is the second time I am reading ‘A Christmas Carol’. I read it the first time on Christmas Day a few years back. It was an interesting and a different experience re-reading it.
Did you like it?
I liked it very much, but in a different way, when compared to the first time. The first time I read it, I didn’t know the story. So, I was looking forward to finding out what happened next. This time when I read it, I knew the overall story, though I had forgotten the details. I was looking forward to discovering things that I missed the first time. For example, a couple of interesting things that I discovered was that the phrase ‘dead as a doornail’ in the first page of the book must have inspired the title of Charlaine Harris’ book of the same name. And the Ghost of Christmas Past inspired the title of the movie ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’.
Which was your favorite scene?
This is a really tough question to answer. I think it would be one of these three – Belle breaking off with Scrooge because she feels that he has become a person greedy for money, the Fezziwig family celebrating Christmas with their family, friends and employees and how at the end of that scene Scrooge says that happiness comes from things which are impossible to add and count, Bob Cratchit celebrating Christmas with his family.
Which was your least favorite scene?
I don’t think I had a least favourite scene. Because I think every scene was important to the story and was there for a reason, even if some of the scenes depicted characters who were not really nice or circumstances which exposed the not-so-good part of some of the characters’ hearts. I also wish that the third ghost had spoken. Just pointing the finger was not enough for me.
Which spirit and his stories did you find the most interesting?
I liked the second spirit very much, because it showed how people celebrated Christmas with a lot of joy and happiness whether they were rich or poor and how the spirit itself added to the happiness by its magic. The Christmas celebrations of the Fezziwig and Cratchit families were my favourite scenes from that part of the story.
Was there a character you wish you knew more about?
Probably Belle. Wish she had met Scrooge again and they could have become friends again.
How did you like the end?
I found the ending quite heartwarming and nice. I liked it very much. Though I knew the ending already, even while re-reading, it made me very happy. It was the perfect ending to the story.
Did you think it was believable?
I think from the perspective of a Christmas story, the ending was believable. But if I look at it as a real story, it is possible that a person might undergo such a major change in personality when he / she goes through a crisis. But it may not happen always. But it does happen sometimes
Do you know anyone like Scrooge?
One of the things I really liked about the story was that it doesn’t depict Scrooge as a completely selfish, miserly person, but shows that there are two sides to his character and one of the sides has been suppressed because of different reasons and circumstances. I think there are people like Scrooge everywhere or people who have some of his personality traits. For example, I have seen people who have money but who don’t know how to use it to make themselves happy or get themselves creature comforts. The disturbing thing though is that Scrooge’s indifference to the world, his refusal to become friends with anyone, his suspicious behaviour towards anyone who invites him for a dinner / party, the way he has constructed walls around his heart so that it is not accessible to anyone around – these are things which we see everyday.
Did he deserve to be saved?
I think he deserved to be shown a different perspective of life other than the cold, logical way that he looked at it. I am glad that the three spirits did that and I am glad that it changed Scrooge’s heart and made him a better person. I think everyone deserves an opportunity to become a better person.