A Christmas Carol

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Calendar icon Date: 1843

 Theatrical masks Genre: Novel

Author icon Author: Charles Dickens


Characters icon Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley's ghost, spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, Fred, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim.

Base icon Based on: British Christmas traditions, including carols, cards, and Christmas trees, as well as older countryside holiday customs. 

Symbols icon Symbols: Chains and greed, transformation, humanity, poverty, selfishness.

Influence icon Influence: The novel could have been influenced by Dickens' previous Christmas stories, as well as similar works by other authors, such as Douglas Jerrod and Washington Irving.

Book icon Plot: A Christmas Carol introduces a greedy miser Ebenezer Scrooge who experiences visits by the Christmas spirits who give him a chance to avoid the unenviable destiny of his late business partner Jacob Marley. Scrooge travels to his lonely childhood, visits the family dinner with the Cratchit family and their youngest, Tiny Tim, and sees that no one would be sorry to see him dead in the future. The novella ends with Scrooge waking up on Christmas day a changed man, generous and kind. 

Fact icon Interesting facts:

Check mark Although the phrase "Merry Christmas" was used before A Christmas Carol, it only became widely used after its publication.

Check mark The Christmas traditions described in the novella repopularized the holiday in the Victorian era and laid the foundation for many modern practices, including family gatherings.

https://cdn.static.express/storage/sp/essays/ogXcc6e1pGuPcOee46posxZaGFW46I52Y74dlLJd.png A Christmas Carol was illegally copied and published in 1844, diminishing Dickens’ profits from the novella.

Check mark Charles Dickens performed over 120 public readings of A Christmas Carol between 1849 and 1870.

Check mark The characters and focus of the story change from one adaptation to another to reflect the current thinking, i.e., the UK and US film adaptations were very different.

Quote icon Quotes: 

Check mark "There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor."

Check mark "No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused."

Check mark "For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself."

Check mark "Bah," said Scrooge, "Humbug."

Check mark "If they would rather die, . . . they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

Exclamation point Why is this topic important: A Christmas Carol affected holiday traditions across the UK and the US and has been adopted so many times that it has become an integral part of the winter holiday season.

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