A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens - A short parable that will have you feeling joyous and uplifted!

This wonderful, short parable, published in 1843, has stood the test of time & remains as popular today as it was when first published.

Although much of the setting is dark & gloomy, its messages are joyful & uplifting.

The words "Bah" & "Humbug" are always associated with this tale whilst the name of the chief character, Scrooge, is synonymous with those who are mean & uncharitable.

The joy of the book is discovering how Scrooge becomes a changed person.


The Plot

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

The story is about Scrooge, a rather mean fellow, who is visited by three ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Confronted by these visions, he becomes a changed person.

For a full debrief on the script go to Summary of Christmas Carol

Themes

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

Style & Humour;

As always with Charles Dickens, the story is very descriptive. Right from the beginning, he gives the reader a lengthy, detailed picture of Scrooge so that we know exactly how mean & unkind he is.

"-----a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner."

We are left in no doubt about him. It must be a good story if he manages to change after that build up!  And that he provokes change through ghosts helps to make it a sure winner.

The parable is full of humour especially when he tells us repeatedly that Marley is dead! His humour permeates the novel. There seems to be no doubt that Dickens enjoyed writing this Christmas story. He also takes us back to the past of Scrooge to illustrate how our past has an effect on our future.

Symbolism;

Marley 's ghost tells the reader that his numerous chains  symbolise the fetters of his life, enforced by himself, on himself.! And later, he meets a boy  & girl, "Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish ----." The boy is Ignorance ; the girl is Want.

Redemption & Poverty;

We are given a good idea of the terrible poverty of Dickens' England yet the writer strongly advocates the celebration of Christ's Birth. The descriptions of Christmas in different parts of the tale are full of joy & happiness as the families forget their poverty & their hard work just for one day. It's wonderful to be part of the love & happiness of the Cratchits & the nephew of Scrooge; the reader can learn so much from them.

But the highlight of the story is charting the redemption of Scrooge through the ghosts to the point  where he too celebrates the joy of Christmas. We finally witness his kindness to the people around him. It's a gripping, thought provoking story as we watch his gradual transformation & at the same time absorb the lessons of the story for our own lives.

Book Club Questions

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

1. Can you see any influences from the story on the way we spend Christmas today?

2. Do you think that in emphasising the influence of our past on our present, Dickens is shown to be ahead of his time?



3. Do you think Dickens would approve of the way we celebrate Christmas today?

4. What message is Dickens trying to tell us about the meaning of Christmas?

5. "Our society is too pre-occupied with wealth and money" - Do you agree or disagree? What evidence supports your view in today's society?

6. Which aspects of the story did you enjoy most of all?

7. Why do you think the tale has stood the test of time?

8. The supernatural element seems to work in this story? Do you agree? Why is this?

Like?

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

We read this short parable for our Christmas Book Club. We needed a short read, given how hectic December can be.

We also didn't have much time for discussion due to our inaugural best books award.



This book definitely got us in the festive mood, and we loved ticking off another classic from our list!!

We gave it a 7/10. Well written with plenty of Dickensian descriptions.

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