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The Chimes

The ChimesThe Chimes by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know that Dickens has other Christmas stories besides A Christmas Carol, but I have never read any of his other offerings. That is, until this year. After looking at his other seasonal offerings, I settled on The Chimes, his New Year story. Man, was this sad. And dark. But thankfully it had a happy ending, which made reading it worthwhile.

Would the world be better without you in it? We’ve seen stories broach this topic numerous times, most famously in the quintessential Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Evidently, Dicken’s was one of the first to broach this question. I went into this story completely blind, so I was taken aback by the twist. The story mirrored A Christmas Carol in some ways, showing New Year’s Eves of the future if our main character wasn’t present in them. The scenes were darker, and their spirit guides more disturbing, than those of the story’s Christmas counterpart.

Even though this tale was a dark one, it had so much to say about how we view those less fortunate than ourselves. So often we forget to view people who have fallen on hard times as just that: people. They are no different than us except in the fact that they have to struggle more to obtain less than we’ve been blessed with. And as I stated earlier, there was a happy ending, which I was thankful for; because even in the midst of darkness and pain, there should always be hope. Isn’t that the promise that a new year brings?

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