part of a foreward (ACC) longish
Posted by AnneM on December 22, 1997 at 21:53:46:
I have an old Bantam (1983)paperback with ACC and other Victorian Fairy Tales. (I just now finished ACC, sorry I'm so late)
Anyway, this is what the introduction says (in part) about Dickens, this story and Victorian age.
"A Christmas Carol is a fable for adults in need of such a reclaimation." (referring to Scrooge reclaiming his "emotional core")"It is written by a man who persistently remembered having once been an imaginative and contented little boy. ...Dickens set out to recover the child's innocence and strong capacity for make-believe. That recovery was, for Dickens and his fellow Victorians, absolutely essential to the adult's well-being. Like his creator, Ebenezer Scrooge must rescue and reanimate the supressed "transition" that converts a healthy child into a healthy adult. ...Again and again, Dickens relied on his childhood imaginings to give shape to his mature art. For he understood what Scrooge must come to recognize: the need and the value of our repeated return as grownups to the magical thinking of the child."
"..The boy, Ignorance, and the girl, Want are premature adults. the products of a civilazation that stifles its young and stunts them into grotesque aberrations. At the end of the story, however,, as a playful Scrooge gleefully indulges his newfound willingness to regress, such phantasms can be exorcised. ... Scrooge's delight" (with the boy that goes to fetch the prize turkey) "emanates from the irrepressible sense of wonder and well-being he has recovered. Though he earnestly assumes the new role of adult benefactor and philanthropist, he has been internally renovated by his ability to retrieve the child within. The dismal realities of Victorian England can be dissolved."
Maybe this is part of the key to longevity and popular appeal of this story. We can all relate to the innocence, wonder, and "magical thinking" of children. And does it not seem like the crabbiest people are those that have forgotten how to laugh?
btw, one of Dicken's great-great (or something there abouts)grandchild, does a US tour every year attending "Dickens festivals" and reading from the story. Quoted in the local paper as saying Dickens (and Carol)is much more popular in the US than in the UK.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.