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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/4/15

How Dickens' Message Applies Today: Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Arrogance of Wealth

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CVC: The word "theatre" is of Greek origin and means "the seeing place." The visual and performing arts in their best renderings offer an opportunity for humanity to reflect upon our own human nature and Creation as a whole. As well as the potential entertainment value, "Art" in its greatest sense can touch us on deeper levels, even to our very souls, and open our eyes and hearts to what we have been and can yet be. Sometimes this means looking into a mirror that is not an easy vision to look at but must be seen in order to see beyond to positive changes that can be made for the betterment of ourselves and humanity as a whole.

Scrooge and Bob Cratchit celebrate Christmas in an illustration from Stave Five of the original edition, 1843
Scrooge and Bob Cratchit celebrate Christmas in an illustration from Stave Five of the original edition, 1843
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MAB: And there is a lot that Dickens wants us to see in his theatrical production! How do you think the themes in "A Christmas Carol" relate to aspects of the political climate today?

CVC: It is sad to realize that we still have so many of the same problems in our so-called modern society today that have existed throughout history remembered. Poverty, greed, neglected poor, hatred, fear, all of which have led to wars within ourselves and between nations. The willingness to change, to transform ourselves as individuals and as humanity collectively through Love and forgiveness has always been the key. However, as history and present-day global events have continued to show, this seems to be easier said than done. And yet, ironically, change is one thing in Life that is bound to happen no matter how we may resist within our comfort zones -- which are often not really very comfortable at all!

MAB: And this story has much to say about how even the hardest heart can be redeemed. I find that hopeful! What advice do you think Dickens has for us, considering the political climate in the US at this time?

CVC: I believe that the ghost of Jacob Marley summed up what matters most, when he said:

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.

"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said "I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!"

Marley's Ghost
Marley's Ghost
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(excerpt from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Stave 1: Marley's Ghost )

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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