illustration of Ebenezer Scrooge in silhouette walking toward a Christmas tree and followed by the three ghosts

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

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"A Christmas Carol is just a tale of redemption." Do you agree?

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It is easy to read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and immediately classify it as a classic story of second chances, thereby labeling it a redemption story and nothing more.

But no, I do not agree that it is "just" a tale of redemption. It is so much more. In fact, I dare say the redemption in the story isn't actually the forerunning theme. I think A Christmas Carol is a story about the blindness that is often caused by greed and arrogance. I think it is a story about priorities, and demonstrates a very common human condition that exists when people make money or success more important than anything else.

Scrooge is a character who is blinded by greed, ambition, and selfishness. Though he's known as a villain, ironically, his personality is very common and accepted in today's society. As Scrooge is offered the opportunity, in one night, to see his world through multiple perspectives, he makes a decision to change for the better. But at the end of the story, the pervasive question remains: "How many would realy do the same?"

Therefore, I might argue that though redemption is a consequence of Scrooge's final choices, the story itself speaks more about the selfishness, loneliness, and general unawareness of these things that perhaps many people choose in the persuit of success. As a response to the story, most readers feel sorry for Scrooge and side with Cratchet and others as his downfalls are pointed out. However, in our own lives and in our current society, it has been proven again and again through the celebration of wealth and success at any cost, that Scrooge's original approach isn't all that bad. In this case, redemption isn't even necessary.


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