The Role Charles Dickens Played In Reviving the Spirit of Christmas

In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the, now world-famous, novel “A Christmas Carol”. The book was available at a low price and thousands of copies were sold in a matter of days. To this day, the popularity of this work of literature continues to thrive. With parts of the novel inspired by the writer’s true experiences with poverty and loss, this remarkable piece of literature carried an important message.

Charles Dickens - The Father of Christmas
Meaningful Plot and Memorable Characters

Dickens did more than just write an engaging story that will go on to entertain millions over the years. He was very much aware of the plight of the poor and used this opportunity to draw attention to the issue. The main character of his story, Ebenezer Scrooge, was a moneylender that only cared about himself. During the night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner Jacob Marley who warns him of a tormented afterlife those who bow to greed and selfishness can expect. Scrooge is then visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, and witnesses the hardships that the family of his underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, endures.

Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghost of Jacob Marley
The Relevance of “A Christmas Carol”

By the end of the novel, Scrooge mends his ways and turns over a new leaf, deciding to raise his clerk’s salary, begins donating to charity, and decides to spend the holiday with his family. This wholesome message of the importance of giving, sharing, and being mindful of others’ plights and suffering is what made this work of literature a classic. Dickens was part of the general movement of the early 19th century’s middle class to restore this holiday to the grand celebration it once was in medieval times. Dickens painted a perfect and rather nostalgic picture of a holiday full of merriment, goodwill towards all, and togetherness that remains integrated with today’s popular culture.

Tiny Tim held up by Bob CratchitMany other early 19th century writers, including TK Harvey, Thomas Wright, Chekov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and many others have stories, poems, and research work dedicated to the exploration of New Year and Christmas traditions of old.