2 Dickens’ philosophy on life "Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; in great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest."It is clear that Dickens put a huge amount of thought and effort into his literary works, as he did in all aspects of lifeDo not ignore the intricacies, complexities and subtleties that lie in the creation of the text, as embedding a discussion of these in your own writing will show a deeper level of knowledge of the text, and help you stand out from the crowd in the end of year exam
3 Literary termsIt is vital to have a working knowledge of the literary devices – the construction of the text is just as important as the characters, themes and plotBe aware of them and annotate them throughout the textThe highest achieving students embed a discussion of literary terms throughout their text response essays, even when the topic doesn’t explicitly direct them to do soShows a deep and complex knowledge of the text, as well as gives you another type of evidence to draw on to support your ideasI expect you to use these terms where appropriate in your class work and practice essays
4 Homework (ongoing)Add the literary terms to your vocab book as we go through the text and draw up/fill in the template for each oneWord: antithesisVisual representation:Topic: text response (A Christmas Carol)Definition: the antithesis of something is its opposite; used to show/emphasise contrastSentence: The antithesis between Scrooge and his nephew emphasises the coldness of Scrooge’s temperament particularly in relation to Christmas.
5 VocabularyThere will be vocabulary in this PowerPoint that you are unsure of alreadyDisembodied, miser, virtue, margins, inertia, affluent, misanthropic...Not to mention all the literary terms!And, within the text itself there will be many new words due to the use of Victorian EnglishYou should add to your vocab book both when you are directed to but also when you come across these words
6 Themes in A Christmas Carol The Christmas spiritFoodRedemption and free willResponsibility and communityCritique of Victorian society
7 The Christmas spiritWhat are some words we can use to describe the Christmas spirit?Festivity, family, joy, giving, togetherness, warmth, charity, celebration...Above all, A Christmas Carol is a celebration of Christmas and the good it inspires. It is a holiday novel, created with the intention of spreading good cheer. At Christmas time, people forget their petty disputes, selfish tendencies, and workaholic schedules in favour of friendship, charity, and celebration. Several representatives of these virtues stand out in Dickens's cast:Fred is a model of good cheerFezziwig adds to this the dimensions of being a tremendous friend and generous employer.Tiny Tim's courage and selflessness in the face of his ill healthThe loving nature of the entire Cratchit family; For the Cratchits, their miniscule pudding was a source of great excitement: ‘Everyone had something to say about it...’ (p. 81) For the Cratchits, this pudding is presented as a source of delight, and the festivities surrounding it are one of the many ties that bind this group together –inadequate though the pudding itself might beScrooge learns the lessons of the Christmas spirit through his visions of Christmases past, present, and future; in each he sees either the ill effects his miserly nature has wrought or the good tidings that others bring about through their love and kindness.
8 Unites all people, rich or poor FoodA Christmas Carol was written in a time where many working people suffered from malnutrition or illness due to poor diet. In a world where food was scarce, this was more of an important part of celebration than it is today.Brimming with descriptions of food, the novella’s virtuous characters share food with other and enjoy it. These characters equate food with hospitality and companionship.Throughout the novella, Dickens’ depictions of food cut across class showing that all are making the effort to prepare and serve the best food they can afford.Food for Scrooge is not so much nourishment but a source of discomfort. His diet is functional rather than a source of pleasure. When Scrooge first sees Marley he blames his diet: ‘You may be an undigested piece of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.’ (p. 45)Scrooge exhibits hostility towards celebratory fare: ‘...every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding...’ (p. 36)Unites all people, rich or poorFood
9 Redemption and free will What does redemption mean?Atone, save, make up, convert, liberate, rescue, recover, salvationThe greatest pleasure in A Christmas Carol is watching Scrooge's transformation from money- pinching grouch to generous gentleman. His redemption is made possible through free will. While Scrooge is shown visions of the future, he states (and his statement is borne out in Stave Four) that they are only visions of things that "May" be, not what "Will" be. He has the power to change the future with his present actions, and Dickens tries to impart this sense of free will to the reader; if Scrooge can change, then so can anyone.
10 Responsibility and community Edges – alienated, isolated, marginalisedScrooge represents the many wealthy manufacturers in industrial Britain who have cut themselves off from their working class rootsScrooge begins as a man on the margins of his society. Separated from family and friends, he lacks the ties of humanity that join people together. By positioning Scrooge a an observer in his own life, his isolation is emphasised. Rehabilitation can occur when he abandons his obsession with money and forms bonds with those around him – making friends, and importantly, taking care of those who depend upon him: ‘He became as good a friend, as good a master, as good a man, as the good old city knew...’ (p. 116)By helping others, Scrooge’s life is considerably happier than in his previous self-interested existence.
11 Critique of Victorian society What was life like back in the Victorian era?For the rich?The poor?Children?Dickens blames the huge class stratification of Victorian England on the selfishness of the rich and, implicitly, on the Poor Laws that keep down the underclass. Scrooge is the obvious symbol of the greedy Victorian rich, while the Cratchits represent the working poor.In the 1840s, London was rife with widespread poverty and suffering. Through his writing, Dickens lashes out at the greed and selfishness that he saw as one of the unfortunate characteristics of this periodA Christmas Carol is a damning indictment of the inertia of the both British government and affluent publicDivision into layers
12 Why know the themes?Often a topic for text response will be character or theme basedShowing an understanding of how Dickens develops these themes in his writing adds another dimension to your analysis of the textThink about Dickens’ views and values – what was he trying to:Teach/warn/educate his readers about?Create awareness for?Initiate change in?His views and values are the implied opinions and messages of the author through the text. Discussing these adds complexity to your analysis.When relevant to the question, try to embed a discussion of the author’s views and values in your responses.
13 Three levels of analysis Level 1: facts (this is what happens in the text that cannot be debated against because it’s right there on the page)Level 2: interpretations (what do these facts tell us about the characters and themes?)Level 3: views and values (what do these interpretations then tell us about the broader, real life implications of the novella that Dickens was raising?
14 ExampleThe elements of realism within A Christmas Carol highlight the plight of the poor in Victorian London. When Scrooge visits the Cratchits, their clothes are “twice-turned” and “threadbare” which emphasises their poverty, and yet the fact that they are still “brave” and merry as they “danced about the table” implies Dickens’ message that it is family and love that brings happiness rather than measures of financial wealth.Level 1: facts (evidence, quotes and examples)Level 2: interpretation of character/themeLevel 3: wider implications, messages/morals, author’s views and values related to the themes of the text
17 Foreshadowing is a literary device that hints as to what is to come (usually in a fearful way to build suspense)PrefaceIn the preface, Dickens foreshadows both the Christmas festivity and contrasting moral lesson of A Christmas Carol. Discuss.The preface of A Christmas Carol hints to readers that the tale itself will not only deliver a didactic and sobering lesson, but also humour and Christmas joy. The ‘Ghost of an Idea’ that Dickens has raised, implies negative and fearful connotations, however Dickens also suggests that it should not put readers ‘out of humour’ in any way. Additionally, the fact that this Idea should live on and not be laid to rest implies that the morality of this tale is serious in nature as it applies to all people in all future generations, despite the ‘pleasant’ nature of its message. Thus, the contrasting festivity and morality of A Christmas Carol are evident within the preface.
19 Setting the scene (p33) Tone, Language Features, Victorian Era Detour, deviation, asideSetting the scene (p33) Tone, Language Features, Victorian EraHatred of peopleQ: Who is narrating this story? Describe their tone (how does the narrator’s digression to the discussion of the simile ‘dead as a door nail’ enhance the establishment of tone?) Q: How is Scrooge’s misanthropy introduced? (find a quote p33) Q: A Christmas Carol was created to be read aloud. Discuss. (use evidence from p33 – discuss the language used by Dickens to suggest this idea)
20 Scrooge’s icy characterisation (p34-35) HeartlessScrooge’s icy characterisation (p34-35)Having made readers aware of Scrooge’s callous nature, Dickens emphasises his cold-heartedness by showing how his physical features have warped along with his character: ‘Hard and sharp as flint...’ (p.34) –similes help the readers picture Scrooge’s appearanceScrooge’s physique reflects his lack of personal warmth and while we learn the weather outside is snowy and festive, Scrooge’s coldness penetrates to much greater depths (the weather acts as a symbol of Scrooge’s internal nature)His personal iciness is contrasted with the people outside, trying to keep warmThe gloom of his office is set against the bright candles burning in the windows of other establishments (contrast)Sharp rock
21 Example: Discuss the representation of Scrooge at the beginning of A Christmas Carol (TEEL structures highlighted)From the beginning of A Christmas Carol, the protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge is portrayed as miserly, cold and misanthropic. Dickens uses the linguistic method of authorial intrusion to introduce him to us as the readers of this tale. We learn immediately that Scrooge’s business partner, and presumably sole human contact, had died years earlier and yet Scrooge was ‘not so dreadfully cut up’, preferring to focus on business than mourning. This deliberate alienation of himself from others is highlighted further as Dickens metaphorically states that he is ‘solitary as an oyster’. The weather acts a symbolic representation of Scrooge’s internal nature – the thick fog, icy and bitter cold reflects Scrooge’s selfish personality to the point where he ‘carried his own low temperature around with him’. These traits of Scrooge are so exaggerated that he can be considered a caricature of a ‘miser’, especially when we consider that his external features of a ‘pointed nose’, ‘shrivelled...cheek’ and ‘thin [blue] lips’ match his internal ugliness. He has no regard for the poor despite his comfortable financial situation, stating that they should ‘die’ to ‘decrease the surplus population’, and ignored his clerk’s working conditions, preferring him to try to stay warm by candlelight rather than offer him coal for a fire. Clearly, Scrooge is the archetype of the selfish, money-coveting character, which is immediately established in Dickens’ opening pages of Stave One.Topic sentence Explanation Evidence Link
22 How does Dickens set up a contrast between Scrooge and his clerk, Bob Cratchit? (p35, 37-38) Example TEEL responseThere is a clear distinction between Scrooge and Cratchit, not only in terms of social class but also characterisation. Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit, is subjected to appalling working conditions. Like Scrooge’s icy physique and persona, the office he keeps is cold and dark in comparison to the ‘neighbouring offices’’ bright candles ‘flaring in the windows’. Cratchit is a struggling family man whose chilly working environment brings little joy, or income. In his ‘dismal little cell’, with a fire consisting of only one coal, Cratchit unsuccessfully tries to ‘warm himself at the candle’. However, poor economic times in combination with a ‘surplus population’ ensured Cratchit dare not appeal to his master for another measly fire coal for fear of retrenchment. Despite these appalling conditions, Cratchit ‘involuntarily applauded’ Scrooge’s nephew, Fred’s, declaration that Christmas is a ‘good time’, a time for kindness, forgiveness and charity, rather than financial gain. However, Scrooge is unable to understand Fred’s and Cratchit’s joy in the festive season as Fred is ‘poor enough’ while Cratchit exists on only ‘fifteen shillings a week’, with ‘a wife and family’. Scrooge regards their festive exuberance as lunacy declaring it makes him feel like ‘retire[ing] to Bedlam’. Hence, Scrooge’s misanthropy and cruelty is in direct antithesis to Cratchit’s warmth and joy in the face of dire poverty.
23 Q: Describe the antithesis between Scrooge and his nephew Fred Q: Describe the antithesis between Scrooge and his nephew Fred. (p35-37) (optional)T: The arrival of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, provides a clear contrast between the miserly businessman and his good-humoured relative. E E: Use at several pieces of evidence below in your exploration of the topic sentence ‘a cheerful voice’ ‘Bah! Humbug!’ ‘his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled’ ‘What right have you to be merry... You’re poor enough’ ‘What right have you to be dismal... You’re rich enough’ ‘Every idiot who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding’ ‘...a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time...’ ‘...though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe it has done me good and will do me good...’ ‘His nephew left the room without an angry word’ L: (link your discussion back to the topic)
24 The New Poor LawsThe New Poor Laws made a series of 22 recommendations which were to form the basis of the new legislation that followed in the same year. Its main legislative proposal was that:‘Except as to medical attendance, and subject to the exception respecting apprenticeship herein after stated, all relief whatever to able-bodied persons or to their families, otherwise than in well-regulated workhouses (i.e. places where they may be set to work according to the spirit and intention of the 43d of Elizabeth) shall be declared unlawful, and shall cease, in manner and at periods hereafter specified; and that all relief afforded in respect of children under the age of 16 shall be considered as afforded to their parents.’In addition, it recommended that workhouse conditions should be 'less eligible' (less desirable) than those of an independent labourer of the lowest classThe report also revived the workhouse test — the belief that the deserving and the undeserving poor could be distinguished by a simple test: anyone prepared to accept relief in the repellent workhouse must be lacking the moral determination to survive outside it.
25 Dickens and the New Poor Laws (pp. 38-9) Upon Fred’s departure, one of A Christmas Carol’s greatest concerns is bought to light: poverty and inequalityBob Cratchit admits (lets in) ‘the portly gentlemen’ who are collecting to provide some Christmas cheer for the destituteScrooge demands ‘Are their no prisons?’ (p.38)Dickens uses Scrooge as a mouthpiece to expose the brutality of interning paupers in a workhouse, rather an than providing for them in a compassionate mannerScrooge’s outright refusal of aid is described to shock readers out of their inertia – it is not enough to just read passively, but it is important for Dickens to have an impact on his readers for change to occur in society. Remaining inert will results in terrible consequences for society.Poor peopleApathy, inaction, disinterest
26 The warning of Marley’s Ghost (pp. 44-52) Morph, change, modifyThe warning of Marley’s Ghost (pp )The scene’s growing gloom gradually prepares the reader for Scrooge’s surprise and uncertainty as his door knocker and then his fireplace metamorphose into Marley’s faceAs Marley appears, Dickens conveys Scrooge’s horror but also shows the miser’s incredulity (disbelief/scepticism) has given way to belief in the ghost and the warning he bringsThe chain-wearing ghosts are disempowered, doomed to watch suffering for eternity, but unable to intervene or offer helpWhen Scrooge stands at the window Dickens invites us to share his perspective and to identify with his terror and curiosityLike Scrooge, we should be afraid of becoming powerless spectators and should therefore take action before it’s too lateTEEL paragraph: The arrival of Marley’s Ghost suggests that Scrooge’s change is triggered by fear. Discuss. (due Monday)
28 Recap So far, we know: Scrooge is an alienated, misanthropic miser He has a joyful nephew (Fred)He is cold and cruel to his clerk (Cratchit)He hates ChristmasIt is Christmas EveHe used to work with Marley, who died seven years agoMarley’s ghost, bound in chains of money boxes, came to warn Scrooge that three ghosts will visit him so that he can avoid the same fate of other spirits who suffer for their sins
29 Scrooge’s confusion (p53-54) Scrooge awakens unsure of the time and whether he has been dreamingHowever, he feels so unsettled by Marley’s ghost that he cannot sleep until he hears the clock strike one (which is when Marley predicted the first ghost) (“when the bell tolls one” p50)Sure enough, once the hour bell sounds. Lights flash, the curtains are drawn aside to reveal the First of the Three Spirits
30 The First of the Three Spirits Dickens uses imagery to depict the strange appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Past – what examples are used? (ensure these are annotated in your copy)Q: Why might Scrooge want to extinguish the Ghost’s light? (top of p56)
31 Scrooge’s childhood school Scrooge, upon being touched by the Ghost on his heart, is able to fly and walk through wallsThe Ghost takes him to the place where Scrooge grew up as a boyScrooge recognises everything about this place: “He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares long, long forgotten!” (p57)Q: Find a quote where Scrooge denies he has been moved to tears (p57) Why does he deny this?Scrooge even feels joy at seeing these memories and hearing the children wish each other a Merry Christmas – not that he is conscious of these emotions – “Why was he filled with gladness?” (p57)
32 Memories and imagination Scrooge sees a “lonely boy reading near a feeble fire” in a “long, bare, melancholy room” – Scrooge weeps to see “his poor forgotten self as he had used to be” (p58)The Ghost brings Scrooge’s childhood fantasies to life – he sees Ali Baba (a hero from a fairytale), Valentine and Orson (from an old French romance) and Robin Crusoe (from an adventure tale)This scene is regarded as one of the most pathos-laden (emotional) incidents in the novellaQ: Why did Scrooge as a child imagine these fantasies?Q: What is a possible reason that Scrooge has become the man he is today? What point is Dickens making about neglect, not only for those in need, but for those who turn a blind eye to the troubles of others? How does this relate to Victorian society?
33 “Let us see another Christmas!” Scrooge is still at school, but older now. He is not reading, but “walking up and down despairingly” (p59)His younger sister Fan has come to bring him home for the holidays, because “Father’s ever so much kinder than he used to be, that home’s like Heaven!” (p60)Note the contrast between the coldness and misery of Scrooge’s school, and the giddiness and glee of FanQ: How is the atmosphere of Scrooge’s school manifested in his adult life? (think back to Stave One)The Ghost notes Fan’s delicacy but also her “large heart” (p61) – we learn that she has died leaving a child behind (Scrooge’s nephew Fred)Q: Why might Scrooge seem “uneasy” at this reminder of Fred?
34 Scrooge’s apprenticeship Scrooge is delighted to remember Fezziwig – very uncharacteristic of him!Fezziwig is throwing a convivial (welcoming) and joyful Christmas party with dancing, music and a great feastThe Ghost (reflective of present day Scrooge) downplays Fezziwig’s ball because he only spent a few pounds and doesn’t deserve praiseScrooge responds “unconsciously like is former, not his latter, self”: “[Fezziwig] has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil...The happiness he gives, is quote as great as if it cost a fortune” (p64)Q: Why does Scrooge want to “say a word or two to [his] clerk just now!” – what has he realised?
35 BelleQ: How has Scrooge’s countenance (facial appearance/expression) changed, compared to the last memory? (p65)An older Scrooge is in conversation with a “fair young girl” who we find out was Scrooge’s fiancé Belle – she is breaking off their long engagement.Q: When she says to him “May you be happy in the life you have chosen!” (p66), what is this life she is talking about? What reason is given for Scrooge’s current state of miserliness?
36 “Show me no more!”The Ghost inflicts one more scene on Scrooge, of an older Belle, clearly happy in her life and with her loving husband and children.Her husband tells her how he saw Scrooge, at the time when Marley was dying – he saw Scrooge as “quite alone in the world” (p68)Scrooge is overwhelmed and cannot take any more – he pushes the ‘extinguisher’ (night cap) over the Ghost to try to trap the light and hide the faces it has shown him. Exhausted, he falls asleep.
37 Closing ideasClearly, the Ghost of Christmas Past is symbolic of memory – Scrooge has been shaped by his past and in digging up these old memories, starts to become aware of the person he has becomeIn a way, he is like Gollum: blinded by greed, he has both physically and emotionally become a twisted, tormented shadow of his former self, almost completely unrecognisableQ: TEEL response: Scrooge is a bitter and lonely man because he chooses to be. Discuss.Brainstorm points in small groups before individually writing your paragraph.
39 Waiting for the second spirit Scrooge now anticipates the visit from the second spirit, establishing a “sharp look-out all round the bed” (p71) – he wants to challenge it when it appears and does not want to be taken by surpriseDickens uses authorial intrusion here to explain that though Scrooge isn’t a “free-and-easy” sort of person, he was still ready for any sort of strange appearance: “nothing between a baby and a rhinoceros would have astonished him very much” (p71)He was however unprepared for NOTHING to happen when the clock stuck one, which caused his a “violent fit of trembling”He waits for 15 minutes and nothing has happened, other than a strange light blazing on his bed where he lays – he is “powerless to make out what it meant” (p72) and eventually decides to find its source in the next room
40 The Ghost of Christmas Present As soon as Scrooge’s hand touches the doorknob, a “strange voice” calls his name to enter, which he obeysThough it is his own room, it has been completely transformed: it looked a like “a perfect grove” covered in plants (“living green”) with bright berries. There was mistletoe hanging, a big fire in the fireplace (“as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge’s time”) , and light was reflected everywhere by the shiny leaves of the ivy and other leavesA “throne” was made by piled up Christmas foods – puddings, turkeys, geese, pigs, sausages, mince pies, chestnuts, apples and so on“In an easy state upon this couch, there sat a jolly Giant, glorious to see” – this spirit held a torch in a shape like Plenty’s horn (a cornucopia) to shine light on Scrooge as he enters (p72)This Ghost, despite its size and appearance, is very young and has “more than eighteen hundred” brothersIt wears a green robe, a wreath of holly on its head, “sparkling” eyes and its voice is “cheery”, giving off a “joyful air” (p74)Q: Describe the symbolism of the Second Spirit – what does it and its surroundings represent/symbolise?
41 Lessons to learnScrooge was very timid in the company of this Ghost and didn’t want to meet its eyes – why might this be? (p74)However, Scrooge says he is willing to learn from this Ghost, as he did from the First Spirit (“To-night, if you have aught to teach me, let me profit by it”)Once Scrooge touches the Phantom’s robe, he is transported to the city streets on Christmas morning, where although the weather is “severe”, the atmosphere is joyful (p75)Q: Explain how Dickens juxtaposes the description of the icy weather with the warmth of the people (and the many descriptions of food) to establish a message that Christmas is a time of shared joy (p75-76) – use at least 3 quotesThe Spirit, watching the streets filled with people (remember, no one can see the spirit or Scrooge), sprinkles incense from his torch onto their dinners and restoring good cheer to those who quarrel (p77)
42 The CratchitsThe Ghost takes Scrooge to his clerk’s house – the Cratchit home (the Ghost smiles and blesses the dwelling with his incense before they step in)Q: How does Dickens describe the Cratchits? – contrast their appearance and with their mood (find at least 3 quotes p78-79)
43 Tiny TimQ: Describe Tiny Tim – his appearance, how Bob treats him, what he says – what ideas/people does Tiny Tim represent in A Christmas Carol?Scrooge is moved by this scene and asks, “with an interest he had never felt before” whether Tiny Tim will survive (p82)The Ghost replies: “I see a vacant seat...in the poor chimney corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die” (p82)Scrooge is appalled: “Oh no, kind Spirit! Say he will be spared!”, only to hear the Spirit return Scrooge’s own words to him: “If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population”Q: Scrooge hangs his head in shame, “overcome with penitence and grief” – how is Scrooge changing by witnessing the Cratchit’s Christmas?
44 Mrs CratchitBob suggests they drink to Scrooge’s health as the “Founder of the Feast” (p83), and though Mrs Cratchit initially refuses, she eventually agrees for her husband and because it is ChristmasUpon mentioning Scrooge’s name, a “dark shadow” was cast on the party which was “not dispelled for a full five minutes” – Scrooge is seen as “the Ogre of the family”
45 Key passage (p84)“They were not a handsome family; they were not well-dressed; their shoes were far from being water-proof; their clothes were scanty...But they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time”Make sure you highlight this!This exemplified part of Dickens’ message to his audience about Christmas
46 Other Christmas ‘presents’ The Ghost takes Scrooge to visit the miners, the men who tend the lighthouse, men on a ship at sea, and finally to his nephew Fred’s Christmas (p85-87)Regardless of where the Ghost takes Scrooge on this Christmas night, everyone is celebrating the festive seasonScrooge is struck by the good humour of his nephew’s laugh and notices that he is the topic of conversation
47 Fred’s ChristmasFred and his wife (Scrooge’s niece by marriage) are discussing how Scrooge turned their invitation down to join them for ChristmasQ: Fred sees Scrooge as a “comical old fellow” and also that “his offences carry their own punishment” (p87) – explain what Fred means by this statementDespite Scrooge’s riches, Fred feels sorry for him and says he will “give him the same chance every year, whether he likes it or not” (p88)
48 Music and memoryScrooge listens to his niece play the harp which stirs up memories for him when he was at school, made fresh by the Ghost of Christmas PastHe thought that “if he could have listened to it often, years ago, he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands” (p89)Fred and his wife and party guests play games – Scrooge even joining in (forgetting he is invisible) as he gets so caught up in the fun (p90)The Ghost tells Scrooge they must go, but Scrooge wants to stay for one last game (the Ghost is “greatly pleased to find him in this mood”)The last game is one at Scrooge’s expense, and they all drink to his health for giving them plenty of merriment (p91) – Scrooge is thankful to Fred and the others for how much joy they have brought him that might
49 Other ChristmasesThe Ghost takes Scrooge from Fred’s to other Christmases:Sick bed, foreign lands, struggling men, hospital, jail and so on – and yet all “with a happy end” (p91)Possible essay topic: What is Dickens suggesting about the power of Christmas throughout A Christmas Carol?-what does it mean by the ‘power’ of Christmas?
50 The shortness of lifeAll the while during this night, the Ghost is visibly growing older and older (p92) – its life ends tonightQ: Why is the idea of time running out significant for Scrooge?Scrooge sees something claw-like poking out of the Spirit’s robeTwo children emerge – they are “wretched, miserable, frightful hideous, ragged” and so onScrooge is “appalled” at their appearance
51 The children are “Man’s” – the boy is Ignorance and the girl is Want Q: What does it mean to say that Man has created these children?Q: TEEL response: Dickens uses the children of Ignorance and Want as a warning to Scrooge and society in general. Discuss.Discussion points for this paragraph:The animalistic, emaciated, wretched appearance of the childrenHow these children contrast with other children such as Tiny TimThe change in tone of the GhostThe spirit quoting Scrooge “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” – Dickens condemns Scrooge using Scrooge’s own wordsWhat do these children represent? What is the spirit hinting will happen if his warning is denied?(All on p94)Ignorance and Want
52 The end of Stave ThreeThe Ghost of Christmas Present disappears as the clock strikes twelve, and Scrooge sees a solemn Phantom, “dark and hooded” coming towards him
54 The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come The hooded Phantom approaches Scrooge – it is “shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its form, and left nothing visible save one outstretched hand” (p95)Q: How has Dickens used synecdoche to intensify the horror of this Ghost? (see bottom p95-top p96)Scrooge guesses that this is the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come (based on the past two Ghosts), even though it doesn’t actually say anything to himScrooge is terrified of this Ghost even after the past two – he “feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him” (p95)Even so, he knows the Ghost is to “do [him] good” and he “hope[s] to live to be another man from what [he] was” (p96), so he follows the Ghost after being caught up in its shadow
55 The ‘Change (stock exchange) They go to the city and observe some businessmen – they are at the “’Change” (Royal Exchange in London – Scrooge went there often for business) who are discussing a man who had died – no one is upset, and they even say “It’s likely to be a very cheap funeral...I don’t know anybody to go to it” (p97)They listen in on another conversation, where “Old Scratch” – the person who had died – was also being discussed (“he got his own at last”)Old Scratch was a nickname for the devilScrooge knew these men as well, but couldn’t fathom the Ghost’s purpose in listening to such “trivial” conversationsScrooge searches for his future self in these visions to find his moral lesson, but to no avail
56 The bad side of townThey move on to a part of town with “bad repute” (p98) – like with many of Dickens’ descriptions, the appearance of this area of town reflects its natureQ: Despite the clear poverty of this area, how is it different to the Cratchit house?Scrooge and the Ghost visit a group of people at a second-hand good shop – a charwoman, laundress (Mrs Dilber) and undertaker’s man are selling items to Joe that they have taken from the unnamed dead manIt is clear that they have no sympathy for him, even though he died “alone by himself” (p100)They sell items such as buttons, brooches, sheets, towels, teaspoons, boots, bed curtains, blankets, and a shirt (that he was meant to be buried in)Scrooge listened “in horror” (p102) to this scene – these people are likened to demons
57 LegacyScrooge thinks he has learnt the lesson: “The case of this unhappy man might be my own” (p102)The scene changes and Scrooge almost touches the bed where the corpse lay – the Phantom points Scrooge to look upon the body but he has “no power” to do soScrooge hears a voice in his head: “It is not that the heart and pulse are still; but that the hand WAS open, generous, and true; the heart brave, warm, and tender; and the pulse a man’s. Strike, Shadow, strike! And see his good deeds springing up from the wound, to sow the world with life immortal!” (p )Q: What does Dickens mean by this statement?Upon pondering this message, Scrooge asks the Spirit to show him anyone who feels emotion caused by this man’s deathThe Ghost takes Scrooge to a room with a mother and her children – her husband arrives home and he seems to be filled with “serious delight of which he felt ashamed, and which he struggled to repress” (p103)Both the husband and wife (Caroline) rejoice at the news that their creditor is dead so they have more time to make repayments on their debt
58 The CratchitsThis time, the Cratchit household is “very quiet” (p104) – they are in mourning for Tiny Tim and waiting for Bob to come home from visiting Tiny Tim’s graveThey try to hide their sorrow to one another – their house is decorated for Christmas though there are reminders of Tiny Tim everywhereFred has offered his condolences to Cratchit and his wife and offers to help them, so they hope he will give Peter (their son) a better position (they do not want charity – they prefer ways that they can help themselves)
59 Scrooge’s lesson Scrooge finally asks for the identity of the dead man They go past his old office and Scrooge looks in to see himself in the future – it is still his office, but “not his” as the furniture had been changed and someone else was in thereQ: They arrive in the churchyard – describe the grave site (p108) and explain why it is “a worthy place”Scrooge asks the Ghost, “Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they the shadows of things that May be, only?” (p108)Q: Scrooge seems to have finally realised what he is about to see, and says that “Men’s courses foreshadow certain ends...but if the courses be departed from, the ends will change” – what is he reassuring himself of?He finally sees the grave – EBENEZER SCROOGE - and declares that “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future” (p110)The Ghost collapses and disappears, leaving Scrooge back in his own bedTEEL: What is the message of the final Ghost?
61 The end of itScrooge wakes in his own bed and is relieved to know “the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!” (p111)The fact that Scrooge ‘wakes’ holding a bedpost suggests that the whole experience with the three ghosts was a dream, but the fact remains that he is committed to reform and takes the hauntings seriouslyHe is unclear of what time or day it is and finds out that it is Christmas Day – even though the hauntings seemed to take place over several nights, “The spirits have done it all in one night” (p112)
62 Scrooge’s redemption Clearly, Scrooge is a changed man Q: Contrast his vocabulary with that of Stave One – find 5 quotes that highlight his reformed character and new outlook on not only Christmas, but his whole lifeHe buys the Cratchits the prizewinning turkey as an anonymous gift (a symbol of the generosity of Christmas spirit that Scrooge now possesses)Q: Why is the fact it is anonymous important? (“He shan’t know who sends it” p113)He sees the “portly gentlemen” from Stave One who were collecting for charity and though his heart felt a “pang” due to how he treated them the day before, he makes a large contributionHe goes to Fred’s house for dinner and played in all the Christmas gamesThe next day he waits for Bob Cratchit to come in to work late and pretends to be angry (though even his old manner of speaking is being forgotten), but instead raises Bob’s salary, promising to help his familyWe find out that “Scrooge was better than his word”, keeping all his promises into the futureAnd Tiny Tim didn’t die!TEEL: Scrooge’s dramatic transformation teaches us that we are all capable of redemption. Discuss.
63 Romance and realismRomantic: features of literature that may be seen as fantasy – clearly not likely to happen in realityRealism: literature that aims to capture the actual image of society through wordsA Christmas Carol combines romance and realism to present a tale that is both an enjoyable Christmas fantasy, and a reminder of the harsh realities of society at the timeQ: Make a list of elements of the text that may be seen as ROMANTIC and others that fall under the category of REALISM. How does Dickens combine these elements to achieve his purpose?
64 Scrooge’s transformation Possible essay topic: Why does Scrooge change? Find evidence for the following suggestions:he changes because he selfishly wants to avoid dying alone and forgottenhe changes because he genuinely wants to improve life for othershe changes because he is fearful of his predicted afterlifehe changes because he feels guilty about his past actions and wants to alleviate this guiltother reasons?