“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

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In the novel, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, the author emphasized the idea of human needs and an individual’s self-seeking attitude toward society. In the beginning of the novel, Scrooge is a very selfish man who only thinks for himself. Scrooge thinks that unlike the middle and upper classes, the lower class belongs elsewhere, in workhouses or prisons. He doesn’t believe in donations for charity nor is able to show any acts of kindness toward others. Throughout the novel, the ghosts of Christmas illustrated to Scrooge that he should be more generous and considerate towards others because even those who are less fortunate are able to enjoy the Christmas spirit. A Christmas Carol, in a way, reflects today’s society as it demonstrates individual’s inconsiderate attitude toward others in society.

Today, people tend to forget about others, instead, individuals are often too self-centered about their own needs and wants. To us, we always think what we want is more important than what others want. We tend to prioritize ourselves over others, like the character Scrooge, a thoughtless man who only cares for himself and has no desire to help others. For instance, when approached by two gentlemen who asked for donations, Scrooge quickly turned them down because he believes that he is not responsible for the poor and there is no need for him to help.

Even myself, when seeing a homeless person on the street, instead of stop to help them, I often decide to walk away and avoid them as if I didn’t see them. I can be selfish at times, especially when it comes to spending. I would rather spend money on myself than donate it to those in need because I am more pressingly concerned with the direct effect on me, rather than the possibility of someone else needing something more than I do. This illustrates that in modern society, we as individuals tend to forget about human needs, and we lack interest in the welfare of others. Instead of neglecting the poors, as a community, we should contribute in helping the less fortunate.

Society values money above all because we have our mindset to think that with money we can have anything we want. Now-a-days, individuals often take family, love and friendship for granted as we no longer show appreciation for things that we have. Due to the heavy value of money, society has drawn a line to seperate those who are financially stable as opposed to those who are less fortunate. Likewise in the novel, Scrooge refused to take days off for the holidays to spend time with family. Instead, he thinks that people should utilize holiday hours to work for more money. He sees no reason why any individual should take the day off; rather he believes that this action is a waste. Similar to my family, we often miss our mom during the holidays because the holidays present an opportunity to make extra money, at the cost of losing time together as a family. While this seems like an unfair trade off, it is justified by the fact that money is an essential part of our everyday lives, and any opportunity to acquire more of it should be utilized.

A Christmas Carol exemplifies ideologies that still occur in our modern time. The fact that individuals tend to neglect others’ needs and struggles is due to the fact that individuals are too selfish and would only think of themselves. Because of this, people generally only focus on the issues that they feel affect them but would completely ignore the needs of others. A large part of this is the importance of money in our world. Money is arguably the biggest part of our daily lives, and because of this, people generally put money above all things. This idea of selfishness is not just theoretical, but it can be seen in our everyday life. Through this, I realized that there are still a lot of individuals who truly need help, and we should pay more attention to and help them instead of abandoning them. Without a major shift in societal standards, this pattern of selfishness will most likely continue for decades to come. Then, shouldn’t we as a community take action to improve the world we live in?


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