A. British Christmas The red suit is inseparable not only from a fat man but also from a thin, “old sinner who squeezes, bends, catches, lubricates, traps, lures”. Charles Dickens’ novel “A Christmas Carol” was an instant hit. Within two months of its publication in 1843, there were 12 adaptations on the London stage. Nearly two centuries later, its rival hero retained his grip on the popular fantasy. The Internet offers a dancing screw, a singing screw, a wake screw, a screw with maplets, and a screw with Freudian “daddy issues”.
Enjoy “Christmas Carol” in every way this season. Read to children better in Victorian fashion than on the Vict screen. Dickens’ contemporary and opponent, William Thackeray, described it as “a national benevolence and a personal kindness to every man or woman who reads it.” But don’t stop there: Dickens is an invaluable source of joy and guidance throughout the year. He was, after Shakespeare, the most creative generator of British characters, with over a thousand listed on Wikipedia. That they are as relevant today as they were in his time is a testament not only to his ability to acquire human traits, but also to the similarities between the Victorian era and ours.
Many Dickens characters point to the strange feeling of 2020 that it is difficult to choose between them. In “Black House”, Old Crook burns automatically, which feels like the end of the year. In “Hard Times”, Mr. Gradgrind attempts to “weigh and measure any part of human nature”, neatly incorporating the passion of the modern official with targets and algorithms. In “Little Dorit”, the Barnell family largely controls the Circumlocation office business as well-connected Tories today enjoy the benefits of official sourcing. But the three characters represent their opponents as 2020.
John Podsnap, from “Our Mutual Friend”, Brexit Britain made the meat. A narrow-minded, flamboyant Palestinian – “especially satisfied with most things, and above all, with himself” – he called other countries “a mistake”, foreigners “unfortunately born”, and the British Constitution. Considers the best. The world, in short, “no other country” is just as “not in favor of this country”.
Podsnap’s ideas re-introduce the Tory world. Gavin Williamson, Secretary of Education, told a radio listener that Britain was “one of the best countries in the world” in terms of the number of countries under discussion. The speed with which the Kovid-19 vaccine was licensed is a testament to the fact that “we have found the best people in this country and we have obviously got the best medical regulators.” It was Podsnapery who led Michael Gove to claim that Britain would keep “all the cards” when he left the European Union, and Podsnapry persuaded Liam Fox that a trade deal I. Should be “the easiest in human history”.
If Podsnap represents nationalist prosperity, then in “A Tale Two F Two Cities,” Madame Deferre is taking on a revolutionary hobby, in which she finds a mixture of witchcraft and worldliness. She runs a wine shop plotting against her enemies, and knocks one elite after another into the guillotine. His victimized individual humanity means nothing to him; They are only representatives of a system which must be abolished. As Dickens puts it, “he saw them, not him.” Knitting is more than just a lazy obstacle to revenge. She names her victims in revolutionary religious activities.
Today’s cultural battles repeat these themes. Revenge revolutionaries disturb their opponents by beating them off stage in public meetings (“defamation”) or by inciting them on social media (“rejecting”). They fire people from their jobs, and make them unemployed to differentiate them from the ever-changing fundamentalists. An elderly columnist, Suzanne Moore, left Patron The newspaper was outraged by that article and the article on trans and trans rights. Selena Todd, an Oxford historian, was refused a speech and was forced to hire security guards because she angered some activists. People are silent about new sensitive issues because they are afraid of the sound of Madame Defarge’s knitting needles being equal because the professional guillotine gets on their necks.
And what about Scrooge himself? It is unfortunate that, depicting this emerging citizen, Dickens allowed his most irritating subconscious, sentimentality, to improve. “Christmas Carol” falls. After its emotional end, a reformed screw corrects them for what they’ve done wrong and sucks them all apart. Before his rarity, he was one of the most intelligent figures in literature to have been blessed with: that the world is accustomed to Humble. This powerful idea is still true from the 1840s.
Today almost everything is the opposite. Companies claim to be dedicated to advancing gay rights, promoting multiculturalism, or connecting the world to a Kumbaya singing when they’re actually together and maximizing profits. CEOs claim to be always humble “team leaders” – paying homage to another great Dickens’ convention, the incredible Rhea Heap – when they’re actually squandering an unprecedented portion of corporate cash. Private schools like Eaton claim to be in the business of promoting “diversity” and “inclusiveness” even though they charge 42 42,000 a year. Future historians who are trying to summarize our era may well call it the “Humble Age.”
Whether those who put an end to this sacred religious gossip actually believe it, or whether it is ambiguous. Either way, spin doctors, psychopaths and so-called ideological leaders put a bad amount of it into the atmosphere. The country desperately needs modern Dickens to clean the air. Until one emerges, Britain must repeat the Christmas mantra of its great creation in every season: “Wow, humbug!” ■
This article is published in the UK section of the print edition under the heading “The Wisdom of Scrooge”.