In Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Present introduces Ebenezer Scrooge to -
"two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable," and explains to Scrooge, "This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom..."
The universally known Christmas story by Charles Dickens, ‘Christmas Carol’, and its main character Ebenezer Scrooge. ‘Christmas Carol’ is brimming with social and mystical truths. I've always found the above line to be particularly insightful and chilling...the truth in it is undeniable. Dickens’ use of language imagery was powerful. The subjective connection of the boy as Ignorance and the girl as want; assigning those conditions to the masculine and the feminine.
The spirit of Christmas Present was actually showing Scrooge's own inner condition. The boy ignorant and neglectful of his sacred feminine, his sacred feminine in want. It was also a reflection of Western capitalist society in general. The celebration of blind, aggressive, materialist acquisition and the relegation of the maternal, nurturing, universally receptive feminine quality to be neglected, abandoned, overlooked and cast aside. It’s a cultural, psychological and spiritual image of the disease of imbalance, as much as it was a statement about the rampant poverty of that time, even more so today.
Dickens use of the spirit of Christmas Present to voice that truth is telling also. The ignorant boy is more fearful than the impoverished girl. Ignorant, grasping, aggression, is a fearsome force. The impoverished can be controlled. But, poverty (want), married to ignorant aggression, is what Rulers most fear. Dickens wrote Scrooge about fifty years after the brutal French revolution. That event was still fresh in the minds of Europeans. One of Dickens greatest works is "A Tale of two Cities", which the setting was the French revolution. The opening line of that novel is "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Describing the vast economic gap between the few haves and the many have nots, and a middle class in panic trying to hold their shrinking position.
Dickens refers to Scrooge as a 'squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner'. A man extremely wealthy, but living a lifestyle like he was impoverished. He was a hoarder of wealth, not wealthy of mind and spirit, not the least bit happy. Scrooge was a sick man, a man that projected his emptiness onto the world. He only found value in increasing the numbers on an accounting sheet. Other people had no value to his life. The story sheds light on the reasons Scrooge became emotionally crippled. His father abandoning him at a boarding school, the death of his sister, Fan, she was his only meaningful, loving, relationship. Which also symbolized the death of feminine balance in his life, the demise of the ability to lovingly nurture. His fiancé, Belle, leaving him because of his ruthless obsession with acquiring wealth. All of those events in Scrooge's life occurred around Christmas. Christmas being the recurring sub-conscious theme which requires Scrooge to heal from his emotional wounds. Scrooge only develops a deep hatred for the season, a deep abiding resistance to facing the pain of his past. He sublimates the pain by burrowing into work and further enriching himself, riches that he has no clue how to enjoy, the wealth is not a salve for his soul. It's a suffocating obsession that he neurotically pursues. It's all that matters to Scrooge; possessing, hoarding, with no idea of how to relax, how to enjoy, how to love someone and nurture the relationship, his need to heal.
Scrooge's soul sickness brings him to a 'dark night of the soul' one Christmas eve. His sub-consciously buried, neglected wounds became too painful to ignore anymore. Which brings us right back to the original theme of this piece...
"They are Man's,' said the Spirit of Christmas Present, looking down upon them. 'And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.
This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both,
and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy,
for on his brow I see that written which is Doom’, unless the
writing be erased. Deny it.' cried the Spirit, stretching out
its hand towards the city. 'Slander those who tell it ye.
Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse.
And abide the end."
This is America and most of the western world today, bringing forth angry ignorance and depressive want as offspring. Western capitalism’s 'free market' commerce economically strangling more of its population every year. Deny it America, at your peril, slander those who try to address it, admit it only to further divide and entrench your malfeasance, make it worse at your own jeopardy. America your dark night of the soul is at hand, will you see the damage you're doing and bring purposeful transformation to your injustices and the pain?
It's Christmas...I'm an optimistic man.
Please read this commentary on the societal truths and transcendent message presented in 'A Christmas Carol' and 'It's A Wonderful Life'.
Yours in truth....