Characterization: The Making of a Thesis

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Jonathon Haidt agrees with this notion, suggesting that one of the most important realizations individuals can make is that people matter more than money. He states that Dickens captures this sentiment perfectly in that it "captures a deep truth about the effects of facing mortality" (Haidt 140). Scrooge moves from being the "ultimate miser" (141) to a "generous man who takes delight in his family, his employees, and the strangers he passes on the street" (141). His transformation is significant because it demonstrates that there is hope even for those that seem to be the most lost.

A Christmas Carol is a story of hope more than anything. It delves into the darkest of hearts and attempts to discover that the world has not yet hardened it for good. Eliot Gilbert notes that hope abounds if Scrooge can be converted from a miser to a giving soul. He states, Dickens is not so much concerned with Scrooge's "depletion, and decay" (Gilbert) as he is with the notion that people cannot change. To the contrary, Gilbert believes that the good characteristics of humanity "do not change, elements that predate all the moral, social, and psychological character mechanisms a man acquires through the process of living, and that are always there waiting to be rediscovered and reinvoked when those mechanisms finally fail" (Gilbert 22-3). Indeed, Scrooge must learn this lesson as he comes to realize that he is not the center of the universe and there are things and people that matter beyond what his scope can reach. Gilbert suggests, "The moment, however, that Scrooge decides to live simultaneously in the past, present, and future, time loses all its terrors for him and all its power over him" (Gilbert 28). Here we see hope for all embodied in Scrooge. Mildred Newcomb notes that Scrooge has undoubtedly been "humanized" (Newcomb 171) and it is the kind of humanization that we enjoy specifically because it provides hope for the rest of the world.
A Christmas Carol is a classic because it contains some of the best elements required for making great literature. Through powerful themes and compelling characterization, Dickens captures the true spirit of Christmas that remains important to this day. The themes of morality, generosity, justice, and hope are the ways in which Dickens attempts to make his point. The world, in order to survive, must be just to the people that are in it. Individuals must remain moral if the world is to survive and it is only through their generosity that hope has a leg to stand upon. Scrooge is a powerful character because he appears to be a lost soul and, in many ways, he is too lost for those around him. Their words and phrases only agitate him so he can only be saved through a supernatural force. The ghosts are the only things that can change him because he cannot control them. Dickens' hope for the novel is to remind readers that the most important things in life cannot be purchased. In fact, wealth is a gift that is best when shared with others. Scrooge learns this lesson and it is Dickens' desire that we learn it with him. Works Cited By Lucie Armitt. Fantasy Fiction. 2005. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. Dickens, Chalres. A Christmas Carol. New York: Pocket Books. 1958. Gilbert. Eliot. The Ceremony of Innocence: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. PMLA, 1975. JSTOR Resource Database. Information Retrieved April 26, 2009. Haidt, Jonathan. The Happiness Hypothesis. Jackson: Basic Books. 2005. By Louis James. The Victorian Novel. Hoboken Wiley Blackwell Publishers. 2006. Johnson, Edgar. "The Christmas Carol and the Economic Man." American….....

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