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Thread: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    I don't know if anyone is interested, but here is the thread for the third stave of A Christmas Carol. It is my favorite stave for many reasons- the descriptions of London at Christmas, the sweet domesticity of the Cratchitt and Fred's Christmases, and the social commentary that seems to be the strongest in this stave. My favorite part is when Scrooge asks if Tiny Tim will survive, to which question the Spirit of Christmas Present says the following:

    "If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,' returned the Ghost, 'will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it and decrease the surplus population.'

    Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

    'Man,' said the Ghost, 'if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child.

    Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among the hungry brothers in the dust!'
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    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Senior Member Tinuviel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    The second spirit is by far my favorite. He can be so jovial and almost lighthearted, but then there are the parts like you quoted where he's so angry at poverty and sin and like comes across like steel. Unfortunately, that scene you just quoted is my favorite also so I don't have anything to add to this thread

    I don't know how many times I've humbled myself by quoting the line, "it may be that in the sight of heaven you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions..." How can I say it? Dickens was a brilliant writer.
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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuviel View Post
    The second spirit is by far my favorite. He can be so jovial and almost lighthearted, but then there are the parts like you quoted where he's so angry at poverty and sin and like comes across like steel. Unfortunately, that scene you just quoted is my favorite also so I don't have anything to add to this thread

    I don't know how many times I've humbled myself by quoting the line, "it may be that in the sight of heaven you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions..." How can I say it? Dickens was a brilliant writer.
    You added a lot! It's wonderful that Dickens' lines have touched you so, they are humbling. I think it's a great little piece against abortion, this exchange. I hate that this part is left out of most of the film adaptations.
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    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Senior Member Desdichado's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    That line has affected me overwhelmingly today. I'm not one to be emotional about what I find in the news, but this business with the (presumably autistic) special needs man being beaten and tortured with a knife.

    If there is any segment of the population who is truly "the least of these" it is the special needs person. They are given their checks, but they are promptly forgotten. In nearly every public policy decision. And yet they are the most dependent. The most vulnerable.

    You want to talk about ignorance and want. There it is.
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    Senior Member Tinuviel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
    You added a lot! It's wonderful that Dickens' lines have touched you so, they are humbling. I think it's a great little piece against abortion, this exchange. I hate that this part is left out of most of the film adaptations.
    Have you seen the George C. Scott version? That is my favorite film based off this book, and I find this line very well done in that one.
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    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
    ~James 1:17

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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Desdichado View Post
    That line has affected me overwhelmingly today. I'm not one to be emotional about what I find in the news, but this business with the (presumably autistic) special needs man being beaten and tortured with a knife.

    If there is any segment of the population who is truly "the least of these" it is the special needs person. They are given their checks, but they are promptly forgotten. In nearly every public policy decision. And yet they are the most dependent. The most vulnerable.

    You want to talk about ignorance and want. There it is.
    And the Spirit said to beware Ignorance the most, because on his brow is written Doom.

    It is horrible the way mankind treats its fellows. It is a wonder that anyone still doubts there is evil in the world.
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    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuviel View Post
    Have you seen the George C. Scott version? That is my favorite film based off this book, and I find this line very well done in that one.
    Yes!! It's my favorite version, as well, actually. It's one of the few that has this part in it.

    I like the depiction of Christmas Present in this version, too. The actor looks the part.
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    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Senior Member Tinuviel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
    Yes!! It's my favorite version, as well, actually. It's one of the few that has this part in it.

    I like the depiction of Christmas Present in this version, too. The actor looks the part.
    Kinda annoying that the spirit of Christmas past is played by a girl, but...too expensive to do anything accurate at that time.
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    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
    ~James 1:17

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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    A different observation. I read it mainly as an historian, I guess. I wanted to see how Dickens influenced the tradition of Christmas or what he drew on, so I combed the passage for touchstones.

    But what I find most interesting is a Christ-like tradition we don't often associate with Christmas- forgiveness and love for those who are perhaps not the best to us but deserve good tidings nevertheless.

    It was lost on me while watching the movie adaptations that Scrooge is toasted not once, but twice to people he was personally a jerk towards. But in the spirit of the season, they forgave him as Christ would forgive. With very human reservations, of course.

    That's beautiful.
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuviel View Post
    Kinda annoying that the spirit of Christmas past is played by a girl, but...too expensive to do anything accurate at that time.
    In many versions, the Ghost of Christmas Past is played by a girl. I wonder why they didn't just hire an old man. One version DOES have Christmas Past as a short, old man. I can't remember if it is the Alastair Sim or Reginald Owen version. Those two are pretty old. I don't know if you've seen them.

    Which is your favorite Austen book? I read you are a fan in the introvert thread. I love her, too.
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    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    I have not weighed in, but my favorite scrooges are Patrick Stewart and...Bill Murray...

    Yeah, I like Scrooged.

    As for Stewart's rendition though, I think I like it because of how well it was cast across the board.
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Another advantage to the Stewart version is that the Ghost of Christmas Present comes closest to matching the physical description in the novella.
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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Desdichado View Post
    A different observation. I read it mainly as an historian, I guess. I wanted to see how Dickens influenced the tradition of Christmas or what he drew on, so I combed the passage for touchstones.

    But what I find most interesting is a Christ-like tradition we don't often associate with Christmas- forgiveness and love for those who are perhaps not the best to us but deserve good tidings nevertheless.

    It was lost on me while watching the movie adaptations that Scrooge is toasted not once, but twice to people he was personally a jerk towards. But in the spirit of the season, they forgave him as Christ would forgive. With very human reservations, of course.

    That's beautiful.
    Yes, Mrs. Cratchitt didn't feel very forgiving! It's a good thing that she has Bob to be her example. He is one of those humble, good Dickens types. Like Joe Gargery, and Uncle Ham. That's a good point. They toast him in the spirit of Christmas.

    Speaking of history, did you pick up on Dickens' commentary about legislation proposed during the writing? Scrooge asked the Ghost of Christmas Present why he would seek to close bakeries on Sunday, since that is the only day very poor people have off and be able to get a baked dinner.

    The Spirit says 'I seek!'
    'Forgive me if I am wrong. It has been done in your name, or at least that of your family,' said Scrooge.
    'There are some upon this Earth of yours,' returned the Spirit, 'who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.'

    Dickens was really against legalism, here. It made me think of how atrocities were and are committed in the name of Christ and have nothing to do with Christ- like the Spanish Inquisition.
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    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Desdichado View Post
    I have not weighed in, but my favorite scrooges are Patrick Stewart and...Bill Murray...

    Yeah, I like Scrooged.

    As for Stewart's rendition though, I think I like it because of how well it was cast across the board.
    Those are two versions I haven't seen. I've heard of them, of course. I like one that is considered abysmal by some- Scrooge! the Musical with Albert Finney. I love the songs, and it is really funny. But, I like musicals, anyway.
    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Great Scott..
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
    In many versions, the Ghost of Christmas Past is played by a girl. I wonder why they didn't just hire an old man. One version DOES have Christmas Past as a short, old man. I can't remember if it is the Alastair Sim or Reginald Owen version. Those two are pretty old. I don't know if you've seen them.

    Which is your favorite Austen book? I read you are a fan in the introvert thread. I love her, too.
    My favourite Scrooge has long been Alastair Sim, but this year I watched the animated version with Jim Carrey playing Scrooge... they made the characters to look like the actor who was doing the voice, but Jim was unrecognizable! Colin Firth and Gary Oldman were both recognizable in their roles as nephew Fred and Bob Cratchit, though Oldman also voiced Tim and Marley. I was so disappointed by the removal of Scrooge's little speech to his nephew and wife when he showed up for Christmas dinner that I had to go and watch the Sim version to hear his truly repentant heart speak to them

    I love Jane Austen as well... Pride and Prejudice I have read many times and also
    watched various versions over the years. I love the new tellings of old stories. I even
    read P&P as a PDF on my computer. I did not expect to do that, but sometimes when
    I come across a well loved book, I end up reading it again even if it is for the 6th time
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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
    My favourite Scrooge has long been Alastair Sim, but this year I watched the animated version with Jim Carrey playing Scrooge... they made the characters to look like the actor who was doing the voice, but Jim was unrecognizable! Colin Firth and Gary Oldman were both recognizable in their roles as nephew Fred and Bob Cratchit, though Oldman also voiced Tim and Marley. I was so disappointed by the removal of Scrooge's little speech to his nephew and wife when he showed up for Christmas dinner that I had to go and watch the Sim version to hear his truly repentant heart speak to them

    I love Jane Austen as well... Pride and Prejudice I have read many times and also
    watched various versions over the years. I love the new tellings of old stories. I even
    read P&P as a PDF on my computer. I did not expect to do that, but sometimes when
    I come across a well loved book, I end up reading it again even if it is for the 6th time
    I like the Alastair Sim one, too. It's the grittiest in a way. It really looks like what I imagine Victorian London would like like, and the Ghost of Christmas Future scene is well done. I haven't seen the Jim Carey version. I know what you mean about being irritated when the versions leave out key speeches- especially his reclamation speeches.

    Pride and Prejudice is special, but I love Persuasion more. The Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice is one of my most favorite things to watch. It's perfection. The actors are all well cast. Colin Firth is a beautiful Darcy, just like I imagined. There is no telling how many women fell in love with him after that version came out.
    I'm impressed that you can read books on pdf! I'd probably end up printing it out. Lol, if you don't know about Project Gutenberg already, it's a database of free books. Most of them are classics or books in the public domain.
    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Senior Member Galatea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    Quote Originally Posted by 88 View Post
    Great Scott..
    This is A Christmas Carol, not Ivanhoe.
    Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    The truly abysmal Scrooge was Kelsey Grammar. I like most of his work, but that was an epic fail.
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    Default Re: Stave Three of A Christmas Carol

    I wonder how influenced Dickens was by Edmund Burke, because that is a very Burkean way of viewing such legislation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
    Yes, Mrs. Cratchitt didn't feel very forgiving! It's a good thing that she has Bob to be her example. He is one of those humble, good Dickens types. Like Joe Gargery, and Uncle Ham. That's a good point. They toast him in the spirit of Christmas.

    Speaking of history, did you pick up on Dickens' commentary about legislation proposed during the writing? Scrooge asked the Ghost of Christmas Present why he would seek to close bakeries on Sunday, since that is the only day very poor people have off and be able to get a baked dinner.

    The Spirit says 'I seek!'
    'Forgive me if I am wrong. It has been done in your name, or at least that of your family,' said Scrooge.
    'There are some upon this Earth of yours,' returned the Spirit, 'who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.'

    Dickens was really against legalism, here. It made me think of how atrocities were and are committed in the name of Christ and have nothing to do with Christ- like the Spanish Inquisition.
    Galatea likes this.
    Nihil novi sub sole.

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