In A Christmas Carol, Stave 3, what is the point of the lighthouse and ship after seeing the Cratchits?

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The theme of Stave III is to show Ebenezer Scrooge how easy it is for others to have Christmas in their heart. We see this through multiple examples of people Scrooge knows and people he does not know, all celebrating Christmas with those around them. Most of them are doing...

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The theme of Stave III is to show Ebenezer Scrooge how easy it is for others to have Christmas in their heart. We see this through multiple examples of people Scrooge knows and people he does not know, all celebrating Christmas with those around them. Most of them are doing so under challenging circumstances where it might be very easy to be sad or downtrodden and give up on Christmas all together. Instead, they celebrate heartily, and the two men in the lighthouse, and the men on the ship are extreme examples of this.

For the lighthouse, Dickens describes an inhospitable scene where the inhabitants STILL find Christmas joy.

"Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore, on which the waters chafed and dashed, the wild year through, there stood a solitary lighthouse. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base, and storm-birds—born of the wind one might suppose, as sea-weed of the water—rose and fell about it, like the waves they skimmed.

But even here, two men who watched the light had made a fire, that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat, they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog; and one of them: the elder, too, with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather, as the figure-head of an old ship might be: struck up a sturdy song that was like a Gale in itself" (Stave III).

Then, Dickens takes Scrooge and the Spirit over a ship where the waves are beating against it, it is freezing cold, and yet, 

"every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day, with homeward hopes belonging to it" (Stave III). 

Overall, these two examples of the lighthouse and the ship further demonstrate that even under the loneliest, most difficult of circumstances, Christmas can bring joy to those who choose to embrace it and those around them. 

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