A Christmas Carol, Stave Three / Ghost of Christmas Present; Meaning of this Passage:?
I have a question about what this section in the book means:
But soon the steeples called good people all, to church and
chapel, and away they came, flocking through the streets in
their best clothes, and with their gayest faces. And at the
same time there emerged from scores of bye-streets, lanes, and
nameless turnings, innumerable people, carrying their dinners
to the baker' shops. The sight of these poor revellers
appeared to interest the Spirit very much, for he stood with
Scrooge beside him in a baker's doorway, and taking off the
covers as their bearers passed, sprinkled incense on their
dinners from his torch. And it was a very uncommon kind
of torch, for once or twice when there were angry words
between some dinner-carriers who had jostled each other, he
shed a few drops of water on them from it, and their good
humour was restored directly. For they said, it was a shame
to quarrel upon Christmas Day. And so it was. God love
it, so it was.
In time the bells ceased, and the bakers were shut up; and
yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners
and the progress of their cooking, in the thawed blotch of
wet above each baker's oven; where the pavement smoked as
if its stones were cooking too.
`Is there a peculiar flavour in what you sprinkle from
your torch?' asked Scrooge.
`There is. My own.'
`Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day?'
`To any kindly given. To a poor one most.'
`Why to a poor one most?' asked Scrooge.
`Because it needs it most.'
`Spirit,' said Scrooge, after a moment's thought, `I wonder
you, of all the beings in the many worlds about us, should
desire to cramp these people's opportunities of innocent
`I?' cried the Spirit.
`You would deprive them of their means of dining every
seventh day, often the only day on which they can be said
to dine at all,' said Scrooge. `Wouldn't you?'
`I?' cried the 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.'
I'm very confused at what Dickens is getting at here. Any help is greatly appreciated!
- PalmerpathLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
In the London of Dickens' time, and for many years before and afterward, most lower-class and poor families didn't have kitchens and cookstoves and baking ovens of their own. Most of their everyday cooking was done by the fireplace. Anything larger was taken to the neighborhood bakers, who for a penny or two, would cook it for them. This included, bread and cakes, roasts, Christmas geese or turkeys, ham or fowl of any kind.
Many leaders of the Church of England, going on the idea that Sundays and Holidays were sacred, wanted to close all businesses on those days, including the bakeshops, which meant that for thousands of poor families, there would be nothing substantial to eat on those days.
The spirit of Christmas Present blesses with his torch of goodness the dinners of the poor as they go to the bakeshops.
Scrooge mistakenly assumes that since the Church leaders want to close the bakeshops on Sundays, it is something that the Spirit of Christmas agrees with. The Spirit disagrees strongly, and tells Scrooge that there are many people who claim to know what God wants for the world, and lay down laws of hatred, fear, bigotry, and selfishness in God's name. These people, say the Spirit, know nothing of what God is, and what God really wants for the world. Blame these people for the bad things they do, not God.
Since, to Dickens, the Spirit of Christmas Present is an embodiment of Christ and the Holy Spirit for the Christmas holiday, it's a message that still has a lot of meaning for us today.
- Anonymous4 years ago
The Ghost of Christmas previous confirmed Scrooge what had taken place in his adolescents and adolescents and what he had and gave up. The Ghost of Christmas modern-day shows Scrooge what's going on at modern-day and how chuffed and contented his worker is in spite of his short comings.
- 1 decade ago
Ive never read it but what i can see; what spirit is saying is that people should stop blaming others for their own disgraces and look upon their own reflection.
ps. is it like Christmas carol the movie cause i want to go see it?