A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol tells the story of Scrooge, a selfish, greedy man who is visited by three ghosts and shown the error of his ways. The ghosts in turn take him to revisit the regrets of his own past, to see the happiness of his clerk’s family despite their poverty, and finally to see how little regard people really have for him once he is dead. Dickens’s tale of redemption, moral triumph and Christmas spirit has continued to resonate with people throughout the years since its publication in 1843.
Scrooge is the epitome of greed and selfishness. Many draw parallels with today’s bankers and the mega-rich; have we become a society which celebrates greed?
From a council estate to Britain’s richest man
Should we celebrate wealth? The Sunday Times has published its annual list of the UK’s 1,000 richest people. At the top is Jim Ratcliffe, a billionaire from a council estate in Manchester...
Boris Johnson claims ‘greed is good’
Low intelligence determines a bottom rank in society and ensures less wealth, Margaret Thatcher’s spiritual heir has claimed. But is Boris’s praise for greedy, envious ‘cleverer’ go-getters healthy or unfair?
‘Amoral’ financier film sparks controversy
The Wolf of Wall Street, a new film about a swindling financier, has caused uproar over its alleged glorification of greed and theft. But is it Hollywood’s job to show bad behaviour punished?
The final chapter gives Scrooge the opportunity to repent his old ways and make up for his mistakes. Can you think of anyone today who deserves a second chance?
Tiger’s redemption after years of disgrace
Are comebacks the greatest stories in the world? On Sunday, Tiger Woods won his first golf tournament since 2013, completing a remarkable return from injury and personal disgrace.
Ant under fire as he begs for forgiveness
Should we forgive Ant McPartlin? The presenter has pleaded guilty to drink driving. In an emotional statement, he apologised and promised to change his ways. But not everyone is sympathetic.
Rapist footballer pleads for ‘second chance’
Public opinion is divided this week over whether striker Ched Evans, now out of prison after a rape conviction, should be allowed to play for his old team. Has he paid his debt to society?
The triumph of “Christmas spirit” is all about charity. Scrooge donates a huge turkey to the Cratchits, adopts Tiny Tim and gives money to the poor. What does Christmas mean today?
School tries (and fails) to ban Christmas
Has the meaning of Christmas been lost? Lady Lumley’s School reversed its decision to ban festivities after more than 500 pupils wrote letters arguing that the holiday is still valuable.
Today we will spend £2.6 billion shopping
Do we spend too much on presents? Black Friday has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with the average Briton now spending more than £200 in 24 hours.
Church and chutney: Christmas fit for a Queen
Should we be more like the Queen at Christmas? Despite her opulent palace and extravagant decorations, the Queen’s Christmas Day is modest and traditional with no place for expensive gifts.
Much of Dickens’s writing highlighted the devastating poverty in Victorian Britain. Poverty remains a divisive topic, as people disagree about the extent of the problem and what should be done about it.
Report sparks row over ‘callous’ UK poverty
How bad is Britain’s poverty problem? A UN expert has slammed the British government for causing “staggering” levels of poverty. However, not everyone agrees with his analysis.
PM’s ‘paralysis and failure’ on poverty law
How much help should the poor be given? A furore has built up over universal credit — a simple way of claiming benefits. The government has been accused of harking back to the 19th century.
Pope honours the poor in battered Philippines
Pope Francis addressed a crowd of millions in Manila. He talked about the nobility of suffering, but does this represent a patronising view of the true horror of poverty?
Tiny Tim is one of A Christmas Carol’s most memorable and endearing characters. Medical advances have improved disabled people’s lives since the Victorian times. Have attitudes changed along with them?
The true courage of science’s brightest star
What can we learn from Stephen Hawking? Superstar physicist, renowned writer and inspiring teacher — Hawking achieved all this despite huge adversity. Some see a life lesson for us all.
Ableism row ignites over Elephant Man casting
Should able-bodied actors play disabled roles? Critics have slammed the BBC’s upcoming drama The Elephant Man for casting an able-bodied star as its disabled protagonist.
Bionic breakthrough towards future ‘superbodies’
A Danish man has been fitted with the world’s first feeling prosthetic hand. It is a lost limb revolution, but what happens if people want to be more machine than human?