An Analysis of the Moral Messages and Similarities of "Everyman" and "A Christmas Carol"

Essay by phoenixfire January 2008

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An Analysis of the Moral Messages and Similarities of "Everyman" and "A Christmas Carol"One story is about the necessity of being humble and doing acts of good. The other is about the moral imperative of showing compassion and generosity. Both stories represent the need for people to act selflessly. This author intends to demonstrate how "Everyman" and "A Christmas Carol" conveys the message that good deeds and compassion are vital for the health of both society and the individual.

In "Everyman", the reader is introduced to a disappointed God, who is upset with the human lack of faith in God and an obsession with material possession. God feels unappreciated because humans seem to care less about all he has given humankind, and care more about the acquisition of material goods (hence the eventual introduction of a companion named Goods). The main content of the story begins with an introduction to Death.

Death is a messenger of God, and is summoned to bring Everyman to heaven. Upon meeting Death, Everyman becomes overwhelmed that he does not have a proper assessment of his own life. He tries to bribe Death to return later, however Death does not allow this. Instead, Everyman is allowed to bring along a companion. The first companion, Fellowship, initially agrees to go but then declines once he realizes the reason for the journey. At this point, it is important to call attention upon the reader that the names used thus far-Everyman, Death, and Fellowship-are allegorical and are characteristics of the character Everyman. Everyman is symbolic of the typical human, as described by God early in the text. The reader is informed that "every man" tends to stray from God, and puts too much emphasis on material possessions.

It can be reasonably argued, then, that...