A Christmas Carol—A Tale for All Seasons
By Katarzyna Ignatik, ’20
At first glance, A Christmas Carol may not seem as profound as other, more serious books on a school’s reading list. “It’s topical, it’s attached to Christmas, right? And so maybe it’s just a cute thing to pay attention to at that time of year,” Associate Professor of English Dwight Lindley says. “But I think that its significance runs deeper, mainly because Christmas and the meaning of Christmas run deeper than a particular time of year.”
Lindley adds, “The profound association with Christmas is of the divine entering the human, and of the infinite entering the finite… Christmastime is charged with this expectation, this desire for meaning and fullness and encounter with what lies beyond us.”
A Christmas Carol portrays Ebenezer Scrooge’s encounter with reality and his recognition that there is something beyond his own selfish life. The way the book shows this, Lindley points out, is through Scrooge’s encounters with “the least of these: the small, the broken, the children, the poor.” Lindley reiterates that finding value even in the smallest or seemingly insignificant things is something that we should find valuable not only at Christmastime, but also all year round, making A Christmas Carol appropriate and important to study any time.
Download a (PDF format) poster of A Christmas Carol for use in your classroom.