Mac prez: Why Dickens is a great preparation for life

scrooge

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“Are there no prisons for dropouts? Are there no workhouses?”

Macalester College President Brian Rosenberg, a former scholar of Victorian literature, explains in The Huffington Post why everything he needs to know about current problems he has already read in Charles Dickens’ works.

Here’s just one:

Our ongoing, systematic disinvestment in the education of our young? Recall the scene in A Christmas Carol in which the Ghost of Christmas Present reveals to Scrooge two prostrate, shriveled, and degraded children. “This boy,” he explains, “is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and of all their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that is written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

And what of the way we are, during these particular Hard Times, treating those among us who are most vulnerable, most in pain, and most in need of kindness and care?

“Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”