Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mr. Scrooge in.... THE UNDERWORLD

So, I thought I'd compare "A Christmas Carol" to Dante's "Divine Comedy" with specific attention to the similarities between Dante's inferno and Mr. Scrooge's visions. The first, and most profound similarity between the two pieces is the moral and spiritual growth expected from Mr. Scrooge by Dickens, and moral growth from Dante by Dante when visiting either the ghosts of christmas past or hell. My next comparison is between hell and Mr. Scrooges bed. Not only does Dante fall asleep to enter into the next levels of hell just as Mr. Scrooge falls asleep to progress to the next christmas ghost, but both the ghosts of Mr. Scrooge's visions and the corporeal figures Dante sees are both pitied by the protagonists. The ghosts in Dicken's book show progressively worse sins in the way that the guides in Dante's Inferno show Dante the levels of hell from the "place to be" to "the place not to be". Both are also commentaries on Christianity, and even though Dickens and Dante weren't contemporaries they suggest the same type of sins - gluttony, greed, violence, and in a more general since selfishness itself. //


Laura N said...

Does Scrooge end up in heaven or hell? I don't know the story too well...

Both are lead by spiritual guides perhaps suggesting that one cannot go through this self reflective journey alone, that someone must help them recognize the areas in themselves that need improvement.
Both stories are supposed to bring their contemporaries closer to the spirit of Christ and adhere to Christian morals and laws.

One difference is that Dante is expected to learn mostly from other people’s mistakes while Scrooge learns from his own. Also, Scrooge’s story appeals to his sense of guilt and remorse to inspire change, while Dante’s journey seems appeal to fear to discourage him from actions that will lead him to hell.

Ben Bonner said...

@Laura, he ends up back on earth, a changed man, happy endings all around. I don't really think you can make the comparison though because, as Will said, Dante is being shown the consequences of the actions of others whereas scruge is being shown more the consequences of his own actions. Also Dante's travels follow an increase in perfection whereas those of Scruge's follow a level of moral stagnancy or even decline.