There were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled, when the fiddler an artful dog, mind! The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him!
Top couple, too; with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them; three or four and twenty pair of partners; people who were not to be trifled with; people who would dance, and had no notion of walking. Sir Richard Steele took the name for a member of the fictitious club of The Spectator March 2, ; his great-grandfather supposedly invented the dance. Dickens describes a more complex pattern, with steps borrowed from other dances. Sir Roger de Coverley was the most raucous and best known of country dances in the nineteenth century and traditionally the last one performed on a night of merrymaking.
It was a bit out of fashion at the time of the story, however.
A Christmas Carol
The quadrille was considered far more chic at the time. A Christmas Carol and its dramatizations may well have done much to revive Sir Roger de Coverley in the cities.
Norton, , pp. Many 19th century sources propose that Sir Roger De Coverley was and should be danced as the final dance of the evening. This description illuminates the symbolic significance of the dance in the Carol. To put this another way, the things humans do always have meaning built into them. If true, this fact about human beings has two consequences relevant to our studies in ENGL To begin with, we can think of the arts in general, and literature in particular, as a realm in which creative individuals leverage socially meaning-laden stories and symbols to offer new ways of finding meaning in human experience.
Partying is a socially meaning-laden activity that both Dickens and Woolf leverage, in a second-order act of meaning-making, to say something meaningful about the relationship between individuals and society. It follows, then, that the study of the arts generally, and of literature in particular, represents a third-order act of meaning-making whose purpose is to say something meaningful about the ways in which individual artists, and the arts collectively, make meaning. What form does this study take? Imagine that you enter a parlor.
You come late.
When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before.
You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Topics: Literary Analysis , Quotes.
A Christmas Carol
Is its pattern strange to you? The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business! That kind of word repetition is a delicious Dickensian specialty.
There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune. Who knew that as the boss of a business, he sets the tone for the employees?
Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see. Is he angelic or just pragmatic? Or can he be a little bit of both? This girl is Want.
Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end!
SparkNotes: A Christmas Carol: Stave Five: The End of It
Are there no workhouses? The ghost totally throws what Scrooge said earlier back in his face. Quote 7 Scrooge was at first inclined to be surprised that the Spirit should attach importance to conversations apparently so trivial; but feeling assured that they must have some hidden purpose, he set himself to consider what it was likely to be.
Nor could he think of any one immediately connected with himself, to whom he could apply them.
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But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement, he resolved to treasure up every word he heard, and everything he saw; and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed, and would render the solution of these riddles easy. Is his denial here a mark of resistance to the transformation or just straight up cowardice? Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?