A Christmas Carol is the second most told story in film, falling only behind Robin Hood as the most told cinematic story. Every year, playhouses across the country faithfully perform the play. Dickens' classic novel was released in 1843, yet we still perform the play in 2018. What about this story sticks with American culture, despite being over 170 years old and set in Victorian England?
Greed and selfishness are attacked at the heart of the story. These vices easily translate across time, especially through the capitalist society. At the beginning of the story, Scrooge, for all his faults, represents a side of humanity that is despicable beyond belief. If we take only the first half of the book, it seems appropriate that Scrooge's surname morphed into a term used to denote someone who is a curmudgeon and doesn't enjoy the holiday season. The willingness to let someone freeze to death, rather than give them a six-pence for a song, is a kind of cruelty few of us can imagine. Though we likely have never intentionally caused someone this kind of harm, we certainly let this kind of harm happen all of the time.