File puptcrit/puptcrit.0909, message 117

Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2009 13:51:42 EDT
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Questions about "A Christmas Carol"

Can't agree. It is not a "Those are my things" moment. He does not even  
recognize that the Charwoman is his own charwoman. He does not  recognize his 
things. It is a Henry Mayhew moment. Read "London Labour and  the London 
Poor" to see that infinite numbers of nameless people were scrabbling  for 
existence in the forgotten underbelly of the city of London. And  even these in 
the shop were not the most abandoned. There were worse,  much worse. At 
least they waited till he was dead.
It is about seeing a body despoiled of every last possession paid for  by 
making others' lives miserable. So much is going on in this scene-- Old  Joe, 
the fence, has lived among mounds of rags, grease, and recycled metal as  
his career. He is open to business all the time. He smokes. His voice is  
ghostlike and raspy. The laundress, raised in better circumstances, has fallen, 
 yet still tries to keep some semblance of manners and appearance. The  
undertaker's man, who barely ekes out an existence, and therefore has to extend 
 his income by despoiling the bodies he deals with. And the charwoman,  
brazen and defiant, brought up in an unforgiving environment by people who  
ravaged the King's English. And they all by accident showed up at Old  Joe's 
shop at the same moment, thus being caught in the act of robbing the dead.  
Yet none of them can betray the others. All acted independently, and cannot 
tell  on each other because they would have to reveal their own guilt. 
Dickens' world is a world in which poor people's babies were given gin to  
quiet them, or were raised by their older siblings. It is a world where poor 
 men's children wandered the streets and if they were run over by 
carriages, no  authority would apply blame. Dickens tries, in this book, to show the  
spectrum of life from the  "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" 
 to the mayor's mansion.
In a message dated 9/6/2009 11:56:52 A.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

The pawn  shop has always seemed to obvious to me. I know that they have
Scrooges  things. I know that the great revelation will be, "Those are my
things".  I'm thinking now that this could be an actor  failure.

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