I want to argue that while this story may have Christian values, Buddhism is also referred to in this story.
A basic overview of Buddhism is they believe in four noble truths. I will discuss each of these truths and how they apply to Scrooge (Michael Caine).
The first truth is people experience suffering throughout their life. This includes physical and psychological suffering. Scrooge suffers psychologically being “alone”; he is “a victim of fear and of pride”. “He has no time for friends and fun.”
He also supports the suffering of the poor. He sees “prisons and poorhouses” as useful services to take care of the poor.
The second truth is expecting people to conform to what you think. Scrooge has a disdain for Christmas; thus, he thinks all people should not like the holiday. “The book-keeping staff” wants extra coal because it is cold, but Scrooge does not want more coal so they have to conform to what he wants.
To attain happiness, Scrooge has to turn his views around. This, obviously, is where the ghosts come in. The third truth is focusing on the present, not dwelling on the past or future. To achieve this, Scrooge is taken through past, present, and future so he can remember but also let go.
The Ghost of Christmas Past (Jessica Fox) bring Scrooge to a place with “a thousand odors, each one connected with a thousand thoughts and hopes and joys and cares long, long forgotten”. Through each childhood memory, Scrooge recalls his loneliness and solitude around Christmas.
The Ghost of Christmas Present’s (Jerry Nelson) “mind is filled with the here-and-now”. He wants to show Scrooge that he should embrace the present. Scrooge sees that his actions have not been favorable. Most of the people he knows do not actually like him.
*SIDE NOTE: I think it is interesting that the boy of Ignorance and the girl of Want were left out of this movie. Too graphic? Too harsh? Just something to note when watching this representation of the story.
The fourth truth is called the 8-Fold Path. This truth obtains compassion for others and being aware of thoughts and actions. After meeting with the ghosts, Scrooge buys Bob Cratchit’s (Steve Whitmire) family “the prized turkey”. He also shows compassion for the poor by donating an unmentionable amount of money. He “promise[s] to share the wealth”.
So ultimately, Scrooge obtains happiness. “Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all and infinitely more.” He thinks of others before himself and focuses on bettering their situations.
Talking about Buddhism, we have to look at karma. Scrooge must have been a great person in his former life to achieve so much wealth, even though he is lonely. Tiny Tim must have been a really bad person to be born disabled and sick.
*Note from Writer: This blog does not reflect my beliefs. I am simply making an observation and drawing attention to this idea.
Not a lot on the internet about this movie, but here is the Wiki for this movie.
Here is a look at A Christmas Carol as a whole.
Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!