The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton By Charles Dickens

The Goblins who Stole a Sexton By Charles Dickens

The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton is a small ghost story published by Charles Dickens in The Pickwick Papers in 1836. It belongs to the collection of Christmas supernatural tales, and it is about Gabriel Grub, a sexton and grave digger abducted by a goblin king and dragged into a large cavern crowded with ugly and grim goblins. 

The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton Synopsis

Charles Dickens took inspiration from this story to write his most famous ghost story, A Christmas Carol. Gabriel Grun was “an ill-conditioned, cross-grained, surly fellow-a morose and lonely man“. He was a solitary ill-humoured, malicious man going around with a wicker bottle. On Christmas Eve, he was going to finish working on a grave in the old churchyard, and suddenly a grinning goblin appeared sitting still on a tombstone. 

The Moral Of This Goblin Story

The purpose of the goblin king was to teach Gabriel about the essence of life. The goblin king considered the sexton a miserable man and showed him that “men who worked hard, and earned their scanty bread with lives of labour, were cheerful and happy.; and that to the most ignorant, the sweet face of nature was a never-failing source of cheerfulness and joy.” The people bore within themselves the materials of “happiness, contentment and peace.” In the same way, the goblin showed Gabriel how women suffering tremendous distress and sorrow had an unlimited source of love and devotion. The sexton came at the conclusion that “it was a very decent and respectable sort of world after all.” 

An Altered Vision Of Life

As soon as he woke up from his deep slumber, Gabriel realized that what had happened the night before was not a dream but an actual occurrence. The sexton was an altered man, wandering and searching for a new life way. This story has another lesson: “If a man turn sulky and drink by himself at Christmas time, he may make up his mind to be not a bit the better for it: let the spirits be never so good, or let them be even as many degrees beyond proof, as those which Gabriel Grub saw in the goblins’ cavern.” 

The Goblins As Ghosts in The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton

In this short ghost story, the ghosts are represented by ugly and grim goblins differently from those appearing in the other stories published in the Pickwick Papers, such as The Queer Chair and A Madman’s Manuscript. Even though the goblins kidnap the sexton, their purpose is positive, and it serves to enlighten Gabriel in the pursuit of improving his life. Their intention is to operate as good geniuses and prevent Gabriel from continuing to live a dreadful life centred around the grave-digging work. Even if it is a short novel, The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton is a fascinating and unusual story.

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