This month, as it is Christmas, we do not have a literary article with a reflection on a book written by doctors or directly related to health.
This is a classic tale that everyone knows. It has been handed down from generation to generation with multiple versions, both in books and adaptations for theatre, television or radio. A tale by Charles Dickens, one of the most popular writers of the Victorian era, who took a socially critical approach to his novels. He focused on the poverty and misery of the British people, exposing the poor living conditions and, consequently, the poor health of most people.
In this “Christmas Carol”, one of the best known tales of all times, the writer does not stray from his emphasis on mirroring the conditions of the less privileged. However, he chose to show it from another perspective:
Scrooge, the main character of this tale, is a cynical, greedy, and humourless rich man who hates Christmas. He treats his nephew and the employee badly and pours out bitterness wherever he goes. Not even beggars dare to ask him for alms. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Marley, who tells him that he cannot rest in peace due to his wrongdoing in life, but that for Scrooge there is still an opportunity to redeem himself. To this end, he would be visited by 3 Christmas Ghosts that night.
These Ghosts, each with its own personality, are the Ghost of Christmas Past, which shows Scrooge a time when he was happier and when he loved Christmas and also the changes that made him alter his way of being. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows him the consequences of his behaviour and how he makes those close to him suffer and also how he makes himself suffer. Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, a darker and darker being, who without speaking, shows the disastrous results of his behaviour, for himself and others.
The events presented by the various ghosts are not necessarily explained and it is engaging to absorb the conflicts, the wear and also the evolution of the character, who, reviewing his past, seeing his present, and seeing the hopeless future, repents and realizes that he has all tools to change. Not just his future, but that of the people around him. And that's what happens in the end, happy, in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
This redemption story filled with the true Christmas spirit shows us that it is never too late to change our behaviour, to make a difference, not only in our lives, but in the lives of others. And that to be truly complete and happy, we must be generous and share our privileges with those who have less. It ultimately makes us richer, not poorer.
A Merry Christmas to all, and share Love, Happiness and Peace with those around you.
Note: You can find this book in Portuguese, as it is one of the books included in the National Reading Plan, in local or online bookshops, published by Clássicos Editora.