Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol – Stave Five, The End of It
Well, we’ve come to the end. This stave is really more of a coda than anything else. It is here to show us the results and nothing more. Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning a changed man. He is happy and friendly and truly sorry for the way he acted before. He reconciles with his nephew and improves Cratchit’s situation. It is a fitting end and feels earned.
This stave also has some nice lines:
“‘I don’t know what to do!’ cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath, and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings.” Any quote that can use Laocoön effectively is aces in my book.
“Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs.” I said at the beginning that this is a joyful book. What better way to show joy than with an illustrious laugh?
“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” I just like this one. And it’s a nice transition for me.
Why on Earth is Scrooge known for the beginning of the book rather than the end? It seems to miss the point of the book entirely. The whole thing is about Scrooge learning a lesson and changing his ways. It would make far more sense if the word scrooge meant someone who is happy or full of cheer or even open minded. To use it to describe someone who is miserly, cold and closed off is unfair. Calling someone a Marley could be an insult, but being a Scrooge should be a good thing.
Once again, I enjoyed this book. I’m glad I started and have kept this tradition. I’m already looking forward to next year.