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[书籍] 美国学生必读百本有声章节书 -- A Christmas Carol
[书籍] 美国学生必读百本有声章节书 -- A Christmas Carol
[书籍] 美国学生必读百本有声章节书 -- A Christmas Carol
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 A Christmas Carol

By: Charles Dickens(1812-1870)


“A squeezing, wrenching,grasping, biting, clutching, covetous old sinner” is hardly hero material, butthis is exactly what makes A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens such anunforgettable book and its hero, Ebenezer Scrooge such an extraordinarilyenduring character.

In thebook's celebrated opening scene, on the night before Christmas the old miserEbenezer Scrooge sits in his freezing cold counting house, oblivious to thediscomfort of his shivering young assistant Bob Cratchit. Scrooge isunremittingly rude to relatives and visitors alike who drop in to convey theirChristmas greetings or ask for a contribution to charity. Scrooge returns tohis equally chilly mansion where he has an extraordinary supernaturalexperience. The spirit of his dead partner, Marley appears recounting tales ofeternal suffering that he is condemned to endure because of the mean anduncharitable deeds that Marley did when he was alive. Marley informs Scroogethat three other supernatural visitors will make their appearance over the nextthree nights. The rest of the book traces the events that happen when thesethree otherworldly beings visit Scrooge.

Thebook has five chapters, which the writer called “staves” referring to musicalnotation in which five horizontal lines and four spaces represent musical pitch.Published in 1843, the book went on to receive immense appreciation for itsdeeply emotional quality, touching scenes, wonderful characterization andDickens himself felt the book's central ideas of charity, kindness, compassion,love and generosity were what set it apart from contemporary fiction of thetime. It also took the theatrical world by storm and three productions went onstage simultaneously in 1844 with Dickens' blessings. Since then it has beenextensively adapted for film, radio and television and took on the proportionsof a Christmas tradition even during Dickens' lifetime itself. Endless spinoffsin literature, drama and popular literature keep this tale alive even today.Walt Disney's Unca Scrooge is inspired by it and today, the word “Scrooge” hasbecome synonymous with miserliness.

AChristmas Carol's enduring appeal lies in its heart rending appeal to help thoseliving in impoverished conditions. The highly sentimental and touching picturesof Christmas celebrated in homes where festivities cannot coexist with grindingpoverty, told in typical Dickensian style, make it both a literary masterpieceand a plea for social reform. But all is not gloom and doom —there arebrilliant flashes of humor, memorable characterization and a deep understandingof human nature. As with all Dickens' works, this one too is peculiarly suitedto being read aloud, especially when the family gathers round a cozy fire on Christmas Eve.

 

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