A Christmas Carol Part 4: The Spirit of Christmas Future & The End of It
The Ghost of Christmas Future is the scariest of the ghosts. No jovial sprite he! He’s just a heap of black cloak and a pointing hand. At the end, the spirit’s hand quivers kindly, but he gives Scrooge no answers. Scrooge, even unanswered, intuits that he will be okay if he mends his ways. I thought that the first scene with the lowly char-folk and undertakers men and old Joe with his greasy fat and mouldy bones was a masterpiece of dialogue.
The attitude of the working folk to Scrooge reveals tons about the man. It is this scene that breaks Scrooge even though he thinks it’s some other skinflint that has met his end.
Dickens withholds the information in a neat little device that we twig who the dead man is far sooner than Scrooge does. We are shouting out, ‘Scrooge, it’s you lying there you damn fool!’ All the while as he wonders why he doesn’t see himself. It’s darned obvious.
Then the last walk to the walled graveyard (and the fact it’s walled adds something) to the graveside when we see from Scrooge’s faltering steps that at last he realises what the name on the stone will be.
The last section, the denouement with happy jokey Scrooge is a nice bit of comic Dickens that I enjoyed reading out. I enjoyed reading the scary bit of the Ghost of Christmas Future too.
So that’s that. A job well done, I thought, if only that it’s done and nothing else. You see I am getting quite Dickensian in my ramblings!
I promise you a bit of M R James for Christmas, but if I don’t see you before, have a Merry Christmas or a happy Hanukkah. It’s a bit late for Diwali, but may any Festival of Light you choose be truly marvellous. And for those of you who don’t prefer light, your Festival of Darkness. Actually, I love the winter dark in its stillness and brooding. I love the dark and star-spangled winter skies. I’ve never seen the Northern Lights, though Sheila says she has. Me, I think it was Dumfries.
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