Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Scrooge is in Debt??

The author of Debtor's Prism, Margaret Atwood, has a huge knowledge of Literature.  From righting different types of genre, to teaching in various universities in the U.S. and Canada.  She starts off with explaining what debt is and how this term intrigues us.  She explains that the mere fact that we are playing dangerously with the law, and having the knowledge that the government can take over our lives if we get to much in dept makes this more and more desirable.  Just like the reasons of why we like scary movies, it gives us an adrenaline rush to know that we can play so close to the poverty line.  In paragraph 2 on page 38 Margaret says that being in dept of someone is like a game.  She elaborates stating that this gives a person a purpose in life.  I would like to delve on this for a moment and say that it's not only a purpose that people are looking for, it is that challenge we provide ourselves with to pay off the house within a certain amount of time or else there will be penalty to pay.  The mere fact that we know there could be great trouble if we don't stay on our toes, monitoring what we do so that we can stay within our budget, gives us this so called adventure that we seek.  For those who haven't read "A Christmas Carol" Margaret summaries the parts that are relevant to her discussion such as how Scrooge acts regarding his money in the beginning and end of the book.  The author also enriches our knowledge of the book by saying Scrooge is a debtor himself because he had apparently become in dept to the devil.  Another showing of debt that Margaret wants to bestow upon us is on Page 40 paragraph 2, Doctor Faustus selling his body and soul to Mephistopheles.  The deal is that Mephistopheles can have him after 24 years on the condition that for these number of years, he can bask in all the desirable luxury anyone can ask for.  Unlike Scrooge, Faustus is very generous with him giving out the riches to everyone, he even saves someone from being death.  The author jumps back to Scrooge and his problems enlightening us about his former business partner, Marley.  She goes onto explain that there was an old belief that any wrong doings regarding business were punishable by them being a burden to you once you have perished.  At the end of the story, Scrooge is free from all of his monetary burdens and doesn't have to suffer slugging around heavy chains and money boxes.
Page 41 paragraph 2, "It's what you do with your riches that really counts."  Margaret is trying to give us an alternative point of view of how we think about the rich.  She writes that Dickens had nothing against Scrooge being rich, however he was just trying to show two diverse ways of handling money.  I believe that Dickens is trying to indicate to the rich people who were being cheap at that time to be a little more fruitful and share their wealth with the other needy people.  We learn from Scrooge that even though monetarily, you might not be in debt, you will be lacking the opportunity to share that money with others and will be in debt to family and friends.


  1. Not a bad post, Seth! Just be sure to not butt in to your summary :-)

  2. Hello, Seth! The way you replied to the question number 4, made me think more about your answer "Dickens is trying to indicate to the rich people who were being cheap at that time to be a little more fruitful and share their wealth with the other needy people". But don't you think that Dickens is referring all those hints as he also wants to show his way of life through his characters?

    1. I think he is trying to kill two birds with one stone, but trying to get a greater lesson out of this story.