"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. 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!"
It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.
"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said, "I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!"
A Christmas Carol ~Charles Dickens
Marley's character is the tale's first offering of the idea that there is hope even for the most wretched of spirits. In spite of being weighed down and imprisoned by his sins in living, he still has a message to deliver in death. Even though the hope was offered to Scrooge (and the readers), there is also hope that a level of redemption was attained by the messenger. We should hope that Jacob's burdens lightened a little after the visit with Ebenezer and perhaps even disappeared at the moment of his friend's transformation.
I found this delightful plastic door-knocker at Dollar Tree in October. Although a Halloween decoration, it struck me as perfect for Christmas-time. He sure looks like Marley to me!
There are many movie versions of A Christmas Carol and I like them all, including Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. I recently got the 2009 version of A Christmas Carol (with Jim Carrey) and I love it! I was impressed how close the script stayed true to the original manuscript. A new favourite!