File puptcrit/puptcrit.0909, message 120

To: <>
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2009 19:01:49 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Questions about "A Christmas Carol"

Mayhew's "London Labor and London Poor" is riveting, as one who also teaches 
18th century history, especially so because the sense of desperation in that 
early 19th century work mirrors the present state of many in this country 
(not a few that I know personally). The faith in the "market" and the 
emerging capitalist systems found in the 18th century forward isn't so 
different now as it was then, nor are the critiques.

Wayne Krefting

From: <>
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2009 12:51 PM
To: <>
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.
> Cheers,
> Alice
> 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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