The Undeniable Truth of Quarantine

The Undeniable Truth of Quarantine

While reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge is first introduced as “[h]ard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster” (stave 1). Scrooge is entirely unhappy and despises the presence of other people. After visits from four ghosts, he has a change of heart towards others. A Christmas Carol was published on December 19, 1843 which was during the time of the cholera pandemic. In the following diary entries, Scrooge is writing his thoughts in the course of the pandemic.

June 14th, 1848

Today marks the six month period since the beginning of this pandemic. It has not been as dreadful as everyone is bringing it out to be. The townsfolk always say I’m a pluviophile, but I needn’t not mind what they say. It’s all mullock to me anyway. The outbreak has started to get more unfavorable every passing day. Countless people are perishing every day, but this does not affect me. However, I have been thinking “what if I am next to go?” Drinking water is supposedly the reason for all this nonsense. Cholera is ruining my business, but I am certainly not giving my money to these wretches, especially the Cratchits. Bob Cratchit is consistently requesting for more and more money. Alright, enough about this mullock. Let me tell you about this dream I had the other day, well I believe it was a dream. It felt very realistic to me. It seemed to involve this ghost who somehow brought the past to life. I saw myself as a young boy and it was extremely peculiar. Jacob Marley was there as well and it was like he was trying to haunt me. Not only was he there, but my old schoolmates were there too. It seemed like the ghost was trying to show me that I missed the company of others. Which is somewhat true to life, but I would never declare that to another soul. The dream was trying to show me that I shouldn’t like being alone, but rather relish the presence of other individuals. I feel as though this spirit was trying to get me to recognize that things need to change. That’s all I have to say for this moment in time. Hopefully when I write next I will arrive with greater news.

-Ebenezer Scrooge

December 23rd, 1848

I am beginning to realize why everyone blithers on about happiness without money. Money is all I have. I am living in solitude during this horrendous pandemic while everyone else around me is fading with no fortune to carry their name. Everyone else has their kin and confidants while I have me, myself, and money. At the same time, I still believe that life without money is mullock. If I get ill and die, at least I shall have my fortune to carry my name. Who would wish to be poor like those Cratchits? Undoubtedly not I. Although, I slightly wish I had someone, anyone, to share it with. No one wants to be in my presence. I am certain of this because I hear whispers from the windows of the townsfolk. They say that I am a snollygoster. It is like a spirit haunted me and opened my eyes to what the townsfolk think about me. I want to keep my fortune, but is the solitude and scuttlebutt worth it?

-Ebenezer Scrooge

June 5th, 1849

It has now been an entire year since this cursed pandemic began. If someone was to ask me to describe myself in this isolated state, I would say that I am a librocubularist. I have begun re-reading the books on my shelf for the fourth time. I have also begun to wonder if I should write my own tale. This notion made me realize that I could make myself even more money, but since all of the bookstores are closed, no one would be able to purchase such a book. What a misfortune, really. However, at this point I am beginning to grow quite tired of my money’s company. What I would give to have someone here with me. This next statement may make me sound like a blithering idiot, but I would be ecstatic to be in the presence of Jacob Marley’s ghost. Speaking of spirits, I have seemed to encounter yet another. I have begun having those wretched dreams once more. However, this time I have begun dreaming about a hooded figure with arms and fingers like twisted tree roots. In these dreams, he has shown me Tiny Tim’s death and the town’s feelings towards me. They say I am cruel and selfish, and I have begun to think that they are right. Perhaps if I give money to the Cratchits I can aid Tiny Tim before he meets his grim end. It is now reaching eventide, so I shall try to put these dark thoughts to rest along with myself.

-Ebenezer Scrooge

December 25th, 1849

The end of this wretched pandemic has finally arrived. I have come to realize that my scurrilous behavior needs to change. Throughout isolation I began to long for company. I realize now that being so greedy only pushes others away, and I do not aim for that anymore. I do not wish to drown in my fortune and greed only to die a lonely man. Now that isolation is over, I am going to have a pannychis with Bob Cratchit. I am willing to sophronise myself to create a relationship with him and his family. From this day forward, I am going to be a new, better man.

-Ebenezer Scrooge

Works Cited

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. 1843. Project Gutenberg, 

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/46/46-h/46-h.htm. Accessed 24 April 2020.

Above is my copy of the Norton Anthology of English Literature – the Victorian Age. Since this essay primarily focused on quarantine, I chose to incorporate a box of tissues.

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