"Allegory" Is a Pretty Word

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"In form, an allegory is a complete and self-sufficient narrative, but it also signifies another series of conditions or events.  Some stories are allegories from beginning to end, but many stories that are not allegories can contain brief sections or episodes that are allegorical" (151).
                Edgar V. Roberts, Writing About Literature

I didn't think about it while reading A Christmas Carol, but the whole story is an allegory.  Scrooge represents greediness and the antithesis of the Christmas spirit.  Each of the three spirits are also representative of a specific quality in mankind to help Dickens convey the moral lesson about the need for charity to create community.

The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, represents the need to accept one's past mistakes in order to move on and benefit society.  The spirit shows Scrooge specific events from his life that will enable him to realize what he could have done differently, but still accept that it's too late to change any of it.  He must accept his past in order to move on.  

The Ghost of Christmas Present, the second spirit to visit Scrooge, embodies the ideals Dickens sets forth for every man: charity and goodwill.  Even though I still think he had far too many things, he shows Scrooge images that make him want to be better.  This is one of the only times, in my opinion, that show Scrooge as actually wanting to make a difference, not just to save himself but to help others  (Dr. Jerz pointed this out to me, so I wanted to make sure to mention that).

The last spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Future, kind of reminds me of the Grim Reaper, thereby suggesting the idea that he represents death or possible the fear of death.  It is because of the images he shows Scrooge that he decides to change his ways, which is what leads me to believe Scrooge doesn't really change morally.  However, I think Dickens intended to show a change in his character through the gained morals from the three symbolic ghosts, which is ultimately what makes this story an allegory.

Any other interpretations are welcome because I think I stumbled with a few of them.

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1 Comments

Kayla Lesko said:

I agree with you on all of them. *thumbs up*

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