A Summary of A Christmas CarolMatt Toback1). This story takes place in London, England. The time is winter and it startsthe day before Christmas, also known as Christmas Eve. The settings of the bookinclude Scrooge’s Counting House, Scrooge’s Home, Bob Cratchit’s home, assortedplaces throughout Scrooges childhood like the schoolhouse and the Fizziwig’splace where Scrooge was an apprentice, this is where a Christmas party tookplace and he met the one love of his life.
Then it skips to Scrooge’s love ofhis life when she is married and they speaks about Scrooge and how he is now ina world of his money. Also it shows the exchange, homeless people under a bridge,and a cemetery.2).
The four main characters in the book are Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, BobCratchit, and Ebenezer Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.First, lets examine Ebenezer Scrooge, since he is the main character of thestory, All 3 ghosts visit him. Through him, the lesson of the story is to belearned. In the book, he is made out to be Anti-Christmas and he is constantlycommented about by characters in the book, some feeling pity, others feelinghostility.”External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm,no wintry weather chill him.
No wind that blew was bitterer than heNobody everstopped in the street to say, with gladsome looks, My dear Scrooge, how areyou? When will you come to see me?’. No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle,no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all hislife inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge.” (Dickens 14).Next there is Tiny Tim, he seems to be a symbol of hope in this story eventhough he has to use a crutch to walk and he is very small. Despite hisdisability, he constantly keeps the spirit up and tries to maintain it in allhis brothers, sisters, and parents, even though they are poor. He is the epitomeof the Christmas spirit, that which should inhibit all of us.
” He told me,coming home, that he hoped the people saw him because he was a cripple, and itmight be pleasant to them to remember, upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggarswalk and blind men see.” (125). This quote just shows how thoughtful he is, andhow much he cares for others.Tiny Tim’s father Bob Cratchit is next on my list. He is an employee ofScrooge and he is the only one in the Cratchit family to thank him genuinely forthe job and the pay that he has given him to support his family and keep food intheir stomachs. “and in came little Bob, the father, with at least three feetof comforter, exclusive on the fringe, hanging down before him, and histhreadbare clothes all darned up to look seasonable, and Tiny Tim upon hisshoulder.”(121). The father’s love for his family bleed through the fact thatthey are poor and Scrooge sees this in the way they act.
The last but not least major character is Scrooge’s nephew, Fred. He seemsto be the only individual who comes to converse with Scrooge and offer himanything. In this case, Fred offered him an invitation to his house forChristmas dinner. Fred is convinced at the beginning of the story that Scroogedoesn’t really mean “Bah!Humbug!” (18) no matter how many times he says it.Fred is presented cheerful and in high spirits. “He had so heated himself withrapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Scrooge’s, that he was all ina glow; his face ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smokedagain.” (18).
As I said before, Fred is one of the few that feels pity forScrooge. 3). The book starts off talking about Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s formerbusiness partner. It basically says that he “was dead as a door-nail” (11). Thenit moves to Scrooges counting house where he converses with Fred. Then two mencome in to ask for a donation and Scrooge shoos them away quickly enough. ThenBob Cratchit come in for a days work and Scrooge is stingy about putting coal onthe fire. At this point in the book, Scrooge is not made out to be a nice,caring, giving man.
When Scrooge goes home, he is confronted by the ghost ofMarley who tells him that he will be haunted by three spirits over the course ofthe next three days, each at One O’clock. The first spirit that comes is theGhost of Christmas Past. This spirit takes Scrooge back to his childhood wherehe sees a very lonely boy engulfed in his books without a friend. Then they skipahead in time and see when Scrooge was an apprentice to Mr. Fizziwig.
Thisepisode shows the Christmas party that Old Fizziwig threw and here is where hemet the love of his life. Once again the ghost skips ahead to a time whenScrooge and the woman are speaking. She says that she has been replaced by agolden idol and there is not any room for her anymore. After this, the firstGhost leaves. The next ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Present as come to show himhow his hostility toward others affect the way people live. The majority of thetrip takes place at the Cratchits home. Here, Scrooge sees Tiny Tim’s hope andthe togetherness of the family. I personally think this scene is one of the mostimportant in convincing Scrooge to change.
Then Scrooge is transported to hisnephew Fred’s house where he is having his Christmas party. He then sees thateven his nephew mocks him. Then the ghost takes him to what would be consideredthe bad part of town, under a bridge. There he sees a truly poor family, thisone without a home. Even here the family stays together and refuses to be brokenup, despite their disposition.
The Ghost of Christmas Present leaves and then heenc ounters the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. This ghost is very mysterious,never talking. It merely points with it’s long, narrow fingers. The scene againis the Cratchits, this time sorrow instead of joy.
Tiny Tim has died and thefamily mourns his pasing. Bob just returned from the cemetery and comments abouthow beautiful it is. Next the ghost shows how the people of the town react to aman’s death. No one seems to care about the loss of this wretched human being.Even some people steal his belongings out from under his dead body in his ownbed. Scrooge does not realize they are all talking about him until the ghosttakes him to the cemetery when Scrooge sees his own gravestone. From this pointon Scrooge begs the ghost to let him change his lifestyle and try to change itfor the better. When Scrooge wakes up he realizes that it is Christmas Day.
Hestarts his new life of good will by buying a prize goose for the Cratchits. Thenhe makes a donation to the men that he shooed away the day before and he jo inshis nephew Fred for his Christmas dinner and Tiny Tim lives!4). The first ghost, The Ghost of Christmas Past- This apparition comes toScrooge to show him where his pain is coming from and when he turned his lifetoward the direction of money. The spirit was “like a child; yet not so like achild as like an old man , viewed through some supernatural medium, which gavehim the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to achild’s proportion. It’s hairwas white, as if with age; and yet the face hadnot wrinkledIt wore a tunic of purest white; and round it’s waist was bound alustrous belt, the sheen of which was beautiful.
” (63). The second ghost, TheGhost of Christmas Present- This ghost shows how Scrooge’s lifestyle hasaffected the people who he has contact with. Every man and woman that knows himor knows of him have a set idea of him. A mean, old, stickler. The spirit was “clothed in one simple, deep-green robe, or mantle, bordered with whitefur.”(107). He had a holly wreath, a scabbard without a sword, and dark-browncurls. The third ghost, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come- This third ghost wasvery mysterious, Scrooge made most of the conclusions during this time himself,although very self-explanatory.
I personally think that this apparition carriedthe most weight in changing Scrooge. It made him greatly sorry for his sinfulbehavior of his past and vowed to change his life. Not much was said about thespirit except that it was dressed darkly and did not speak, only pointed.5). The message that Dickens is trying to get across is one of happiness. If youlive your life in seclusion, only speaking to those who you must and alwaysbeing nasty, you can never be truly happy.
Dickens uses Scrooge as the epitomeof selfishness and we are suppose to realize this and contrast it with TinyTim’s attitude of caring and sharing. He is the epitome of joy and hope. He isthe person in the book with who we are suppose to learn from.
The ghost are theconduit from which we are to understand the past, present, and future of anunhappy man.6.) Life in the 1800’s was one of simplicity, everyone seemed to know eachother in their area. People lived and worked in their neighborhood, whichbrought a greater sense of community and family values.
Some Christmas customswere hanging candles from a tree instead of ornaments. Holidays always seemed tobe a gathering of people to celebrate the occasion. The dress in the time periodseemed to be top hats, slacks, vest, and a coat. From the movie that we watched,the style seemed very formal. When speaking to another person, it was speakingin proper English, never a Yo’ or a Whaz up’.
This is because of the timeperiod and the slang we use now had developed with our generation. Although verydifferent, it is very ,much alike. A Christmas Carol was a very good book and alesson to be learned by all, and in the words of Tiny Tim, “God Bless Us, everyone” (130) !