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ConnieAnnKirk
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Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4

For discussion up through Chapter 4.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4

Stave 3: The Second Spirit

I thought Dickens made an interesting statement about people imposing their own laws and interpretations on others by claiming that these rules, restrictions or causes come from some higher authority. Scrooge and the Second spirit are having a discussions about, what we call "Blue Laws" in some parts of the United States, where buying and selling is not allowed on the Sabbath.

Scrooge's point is that the poor are deprived of any food or enjoyment on the only day of the week they have off by laws imposed by the Second Spirit.

--------------
"You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day?" said Scrooge. "And it comes to the same thing."

"I seek!" exclaimed the Spirit.

"Forgive me if I am wrong. It has been done in your name, or at least in 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."
---------------

This is, of course, still going on everywhere today and people still accept the will of individuals over their own logic and innate feelings because they assume it comes from a higher authority.

Barbara
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Choisya
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Re: Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4

[ Edited ]
Yes, Dickens is criticising the irrational hold that religion has on society. Even today The Lords Day Observance Society, dating back to Victorian times, prevents the Sunday opening of many shops and entertainments in the UK, this despite the fact that only a very low percentage of the population nowadays profess a belief in God or go to church. These restrictions particularly annoy me because they apply to gardening - garden centres have to close at 4pm on Sundays and are not allowed to trade over the Easter weekend, despite this being one of the busiest times of the year for gardeners:smileysad:.




BarbaraN wrote:
Stave 3: The Second Spirit

I thought Dickens made an interesting statement about people imposing their own laws and interpretations on others by claiming that these rules, restrictions or causes come from some higher authority. Scrooge and the Second spirit are having a discussions about, what we call "Blue Laws" in some parts of the United States, where buying and selling is not allowed on the Sabbath.

Scrooge's point is that the poor are deprived of any food or enjoyment on the only day of the week they have off by laws imposed by the Second Spirit.

--------------
"You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day?" said Scrooge. "And it comes to the same thing."

"I seek!" exclaimed the Spirit.

"Forgive me if I am wrong. It has been done in your name, or at least in 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."
---------------

This is, of course, still going on everywhere today and people still accept the will of individuals over their own logic and innate feelings because they assume it comes from a higher authority.

Barbara



Message Edited by Choisya on 12-04-2007 01:00 AM
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dulcinea3
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Re: Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4



Choisya wrote:
Yes, Dickens is criticising the irrational hold that religion has on society.




Even more than that; he is exposing people who say they speak on the behalf of religion in order to impose irrational restrictions on society. The Spirit tells Scrooge that this has nothing to with true religion or the will of God. Nothing that is mean-spirited or cruel comes from God, but only from narrow-minded individuals who incorrectly believe that their own moral indignation comes from God.

Scrooge seems to be beginning to turn a corner here, if he can see that this is wrong.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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BarbaraN
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Re: Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4


dulcinea3 wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Yes, Dickens is criticising the irrational hold that religion has on society.




Even more than that; he is exposing people who say they speak on the behalf of religion in order to impose irrational restrictions on society. The Spirit tells Scrooge that this has nothing to with true religion or the will of God. Nothing that is mean-spirited or cruel comes from God, but only from narrow-minded individuals who incorrectly believe that their own moral indignation comes from God.

Scrooge seems to be beginning to turn a corner here, if he can see that this is wrong.




Actually, as I read this story again and see many film interpretations, I'm becoming more inclined to see Scrooge as a very complex character. I see now a person who is more pragmatic and cynical than heartless, and also a person who has built an emotional shield around himself because he was deprived of love as a boy, and the only person who did love him was his sister Fan who died giving birth to his nephew Fred.
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Gypsy
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Re: Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4

Quote: ...the only person who did love him was his sister Fan who died giving birth to his nephew Fred.

OK, going off on a limb. I've always been curious why Scrooge rejects his nephew. I understand Fred puts up with his uncle because his mother loved him, so he must have some sort of saving grace. Obviously, there's some sort of relationship. Scrooge recognizes him and knows of Fred's marriage. But then, Scrooge was probably invited.

So why would Scrooge reject the one connection to his beloved sister? Is he afraid he could lose Fred the way he lost Fran? Or does he blame Fred for his sister's death? Fred's insistance on befriending his uncle could be his way of atoning for taking Fran away from her brother.

Or this limb I've crawled out on could be starting to break!
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BarbaraN
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Re: Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4



Gypsy wrote:
Quote: ...the only person who did love him was his sister Fan who died giving birth to his nephew Fred.

OK, going off on a limb. I've always been curious why Scrooge rejects his nephew. I understand Fred puts up with his uncle because his mother loved him, so he must have some sort of saving grace. Obviously, there's some sort of relationship. Scrooge recognizes him and knows of Fred's marriage. But then, Scrooge was probably invited.

So why would Scrooge reject the one connection to his beloved sister? Is he afraid he could lose Fred the way he lost Fran? Or does he blame Fred for his sister's death? Fred's insistance on befriending his uncle could be his way of atoning for taking Fran away from her brother.

Or this limb I've crawled out on could be starting to break!




I'm getting movies and book mixed up in my head. But my impression was that Scrooge disliked Fred because his birth caused Fran's death. I know this was made clear in one of the movies I saw because they actually had him there at her deathbed and he obviously rejected the child at that time. The irony they put in the scene was just as he left the room she said "Please look after my son" just before dying. But he didn't hear her. Now this is a movie interpretation but I think it is plausible.

Another movie interpretation had Scrooge himself being the cause of his mother's death during his childbirth and that is why his father rejected him. However, in many of the movie versions, Fran is younger than Scrooge.
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JesseBC
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Re: Staves (Chapters) 3 & 4

What strikes me about religion in Christmas Carol is the sheer absence of it.

Sure, there are references to God and the epiphany-and-redemption theme has a Christian ring to it.

But, in Dickens' world, Christmas is about festivity and merriment and kindness to the poor with virtually no mention of the birth of Christ. Neither the good characters nor the bad are going to church or talking about the holiday in terms of Jesus.

Which was probably much more starkly noticeable (and controversial) to a Victorian audience than it is to us.





dulcinea3 wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Yes, Dickens is criticising the irrational hold that religion has on society.




Even more than that; he is exposing people who say they speak on the behalf of religion in order to impose irrational restrictions on society. The Spirit tells Scrooge that this has nothing to with true religion or the will of God. Nothing that is mean-spirited or cruel comes from God, but only from narrow-minded individuals who incorrectly believe that their own moral indignation comes from God.

Scrooge seems to be beginning to turn a corner here, if he can see that this is wrong.


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