A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

Stave One

1. Describe the relationship between Scrooge and Marley.

2. Describe Scrooge as he is presented in Stave One.

3. Dickens uses the imagery of winter to paint a portrait of Scrooge's personality. Give some examples
    of the images which compare Scrooge to the cold winter weather.

4. When Scrooge walks along the streets of London, how do people and animals react to him?

5. Describe Scrooge's office setting.

6. Contrast the character of Scrooge with that of his nephew. Make reference to their attitudes towards
    Christmas.

7. What, in addition to Christmas, does Scrooge belittle in his conversation with his nephew?

8. What comments clearly show Scrooge's feelings about charity for the poor and unfortunate?

9. Describe the weather conditions in London that Christmas Eve.

10. Compare the Christmas of the laborers and poor to that of the Lord Mayor.

11. How does Scrooge respond to his clerk's request to take Christmas Day off?

12. Once he reaches home, what is Scrooge's first indication that this will be no ordinary night?

13. What does Scrooge initially think is wrong when he sees Marley's ghost?

14. Why has Marley's ghost appeared to Scrooge? What does the ghost show Scrooge?

15. What emotions does Scrooge feel during this visit and what is his mood at the end of the visit?

Stave Two

1. Either describe in words or illustrate in drawing the Ghost of Christmas Past.

2. What reason did this Ghost give for his visit?

3. Where does the Ghost first take Scrooge and what effect does this have on Scrooge?

4. What regret did Scrooge have about his treatment of someone when he saw himself as a boy?

5. Who was Fan?

6. What regret did Scrooge have when he was reminded of his nephew?

7. Who was Fizziwig? Dick?

8. What contrast is evident here between Fizziwig and Scrooge. What regret does Scrooge now
     have? Why?

9. What does the girl mean when she says to Scrooge, "Another idol has displaced me"? According to
     her, what had Scrooge once done that he would not do again if he had the chance?

10. What final scene does the Ghost of Christmas Past show to Scrooge? How does Scrooge react?

Stave Three

1. What was Scrooge's first indication that he was to be visited by a second ghost?

2. Either illustrate in drawing or describe in words the Ghost of Christmas Present.

3. Scrooge and the Ghost go into the streets at Christmas time. Quote two lines which illustrate some
    of the joys of Christmas they witness.

4. a) What family do Scrooge and the Ghost visit?
     b) What is the mood at this family gathering?
     c) Whose health does Scrooge inquire about in this family?
     d) The Ghost reminds Scrooge of a cruel remark he had made in Stave One. What was this remark?

5. a) Who speaks poorly of Scrooge at the family dinner?
     b) How does this person describe Scrooge?

6. a) After leaving the family, what two places do Scrooge and the Ghost visit next?
    b) Describe the attitude towards Christmas in these two places.

7. Why does Fred pity rather than dislike Scrooge?

8. What do the boy and girl covered by the Ghost's robe symbolize?

9. When Scrooge questions the plight of these children with "Have they no refuge or resource?", the Ghost
     reminds Scrooge of earlier comments he had made. What were those comments?

Stave Four

1. Either illustrate in drawing or describe in words the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

2. a) What scene and conversation does this Ghost show Scrooge?
    b) Does Scrooge realize what is happening here?

3. Why did the charwoman, the laundress, and the undertaker's man visit the "gray-haired rascal" in the
     slums of London? How did they justify their actions?

4. How does the family described in this scene feel about Scrooge's death?

5. What has happened in the Cratchit family?

6. What is the last scene Scrooge is show in this Stave? What decision and promise does Scrooge make
     after this?

Stave Five

1. What does Scrooge say upon waking that reflects the change in him?

2. a) What does Scrooge ask of the young boy outside his window?
    b) What does Scrooge promise the boy for running this errand?

3. Where did Scrooge go for Christmas dinner? How was he treated?

4. When Bob Cratchit came to work 18-1/2 minutes late on Boxing Day, how did Scrooge react?

5. List four things Scrooge does in this last stave that show he is now a changed man.

5. We are told that Scrooge did mend his ways and become a better man.
     a) What was his future relationship with Tiny Tim?
     b) What other changes did Scrooge make in his life?

Discussion Questions

1. "A Christmas Carol by Dickens is a novel in which charity and selflessness ultimately triumph over
    greed and self-serving interests." Discuss.

2.  "Dickens believes that most people are essentially good. He also believed that under the right circumstances
     this goodness would almost always emerge" Discuss.

3.  "The spiritual redemption of a misanthrope and the call for a personal sense of social responsibility is the
     overriding theme of the story." Discuss.

4.  What contribution did each of the three spirits make to Scrooge's conversion?

5.  Contrast Scrooge's character at the beginning and end of the novel. What forces caused the change
     in his character?

6.  How does Scrooge's relationship to society change during the first three staves of the novel?

7.  "A Christmas Carol reflects Dickens' personal experience and overall view of society." Discuss.

8.  Show the changes in Scrooge's attitude towards money, family, employees, and duty to society.

9   Choose any two of the following characters and describe their relationship to Scrooge as well as
     the effect they had on Scrooge's life throughout the novel: Fred, Bob Cratchitt, Belle, Fan, Tiny Tim

10. Explain Dickens' purpose in writing this novel and show how Scrooge helps the author to bring
      out his purpose.

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