Homework Help

What is the best theme for the novel, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens?

user profile pic

abarclay94 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 12, 2012 at 9:51 AM via web

dislike 1 like

What is the best theme for the novel, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens?

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 3 like

There will be many different opinions, when it comes to this question. In light of this, I will give you my opinion.

I believe that the best theme for the novel is the importance of generosity. More particularly, it is the idea that joy and happiness is a byproduct of being charitable and good. I think this idea of shown in several ways.

First, Scrooge is a nasty old man that is wealthy and very miserly. He thinks that money and wealth would make him happy, but in the end it is killing him. He has little joy and very little meaning in life. Marley, his dead partner, is the embodiment of misery.

Second, there are many poor folks, like Bob Cratchit, who are just the polar opposite of Scrooge. In the case of Bob, he is mild mannered poor and yet happy. He is also the father of the sickly Tiny Tim. Bob and his family has something that Scrooge does not have, thankfulness and joy, even though they possess so much less.

Sources:

user profile pic

fezziwig | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:33 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 2 like

Change is an extremely huge theme in A Christmas Carol, as it was during the Victorian era. So much was changing during this time, as we see with regards to the Carol.

First, the change in Scrooge is quite apparent, as we see from his past, from his present, and from his future. It was Scrooge's past that influenced his being so miserly and mean. If you recall, he was a neglected child during one of the most beautiful family times in the year, Christmas, which explains why he considers Christmas as a "humbug." This neglect changed Scrooge. But we do see a change occurring in Scrooge when he sheds a tear upon seeing himself as a very small boy at a boarding school all alone during Christmas.

In his past, we also see how Scrooge changed from valuing people, like his sister, Fan, and his fiance, to placing his love, if you will, in money, and this change results in Scrooge losing his fiance and living a very lonely life.

And that change is very apparent in Scrooge's present, for he does not celebrate Christmas, nor does he value his nephew, Fred, very much.We also see a change in Scrooge in the present when he inquires about Tiny Tim's fate.

Finally, we see an enormous change in Scrooge when he is given a look at his future, and realizes that Tiny Tim dies, and that no one cares about his death. And change Scrooge does, for he promises to celebrate Christmas in the past, the present, and in the future; he values family again for visits Fred, and he vows to help Tiny Tim by giving Bob Cratchit a raise, but first, Scrooge instructs Cratchit to buy more coal to fuel the fire in the fireplace of his office in order for everyone who comes in to feel the warmth of human compassion and generosity once again in Scrooge.

user profile pic

abarclay94 | Student , Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:07 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

How can it be criticism though?

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes