A Christmas Carol

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Key Characters: Scrooge


- Pathetic fallacy is used to describe him.

- When he is described the most frequent words used are ‘he’, ‘his’, and ‘him’ showing his selfishness.

- He is afraid of the ghosts and he has never been scared before.

- He changes throughout the novella.

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Key Characters: Marley


- The chains represent all the wrong-doings he did in his life.

- The chains are a burden that Marley wants Scrooge to avoid

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Key Characters: Bob Cratchit

Bob Cratchit:

- His family is poor but happy at Christmas time.

- They all want to make Tiny Tim have the best time possible as he won’t live as long as everyone else.

- His children make him happy and wealthy without having money.

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Key Characters: Scrooge's Nephew, Fred

Scrooge’s Nephew:

- He represents all that Scrooge isn’t – warm, loving etc.

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Key Characters: Ghost of Christmas Past

Ghost of Christmas Past:

- Wise yet innocent

- Angelic

- Like a candle illuminating Scrooge’s past

 - Also the candle-like appearance could represent the warmth of the ghost that Scrooge lacks even though a ghost is a cold being.  

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Key Characters: Ghost of Christmas Present

Ghost of Christmas Present:

- He is shown, at first, on top of a pile of food showing his charity and spirit of Christmas.

- He is concerned about the poor.

- Big character –  big presence – ‘cheery voice’ – ‘joyful air’.

- Pure.

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Key Characters: Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:

- Mysterious.

- Doesn't talk.

- Dark and old yet wise – symbol of death.

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Key Themes: Weather


- The weather gives pathetic fallacy of Scrooges character.

- It is described as ‘bitter’ and ‘pelting’.

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Key Themes: Symbolism


- Weather = Scrooge’s personality, eerie atmosphere, relentless.

- Scrooge = selfishness, loneliness, avarice, rich but unhappy.

- Cratchit = Christmas spirit, poverty, poor but happy.

- Ghosts = messenger, guilt, reflections.

- Freddy = happiness, charity, togetherness.

- Fire = warmth, wealth, opposite of Scrooge.

- Chains = a burden, metaphor.

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Key Themes: Allegory


- The novella is used to show the poor working conditions at that time.

- It tells the reader to think about family and be charitable at Christmas time.

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Key Themes: Time


- The confusing times create an eerie and magical atmosphere.

- The countdown at the beginning of stave 2 creates a tense atmosphere.

- The time shows Scrooge’s fear of the unknown.

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Key Themes: Ignorance & Want

Ignorance & Want:

- The character’s represent the poor and the rich.

- The rich are Ignorance, the poor are Want.

- They are stuck in a vicious cycle – the rich ignore the poor and the poor are having more children that will be poor etc.

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Key Quotes: Stave 1

‘A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!’ – long run-on sentence.

‘No warmth could warm, nor wintry weather chill him.’ – alliteration.

‘He carried his own low temperature.’ – Metaphor – Scrooge spreads his cold personality wherever he goes.

‘The ancient tower of a church, whose gruff old bell was always peeping slyly down at Scrooge… as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there.’ – Personification – ‘gruff’ because of Scrooge.

‘… a great fire in a brazier, round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered:’ – Christmassy – warmer atmosphere.

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Key Quotes: Stave 2

‘… foggy and extremely cold…’ – foreshadowing the ghosts.

Ding, dong! / “A quarter past,”said Scrooge, counting. / Ding, dong! / “Half past,” said Scrooge…’ – Tense – Counting to his fears – the unknown.

‘… like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man…’ – innocent yet wise.

‘… purest white…’ – angelic.

‘… summer flowers…’ – the warmth that Scrooge lacks.

‘… a bright clear jet of light…’ – illuminating his past.

‘“Your lip is trembling,”’ – vulnerability.

‘… begged the ghost…’ – hiding his emotions – extreme.

‘And he sobbed.’ – childlike.

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Key Quotes: Stave 2 (Continued)

‘“… I should like to have given him something: that’s all.”’ – regret.

‘Father is so much kinder than he used to be,…’ – Scrooge’s father changed; why can’t he?

‘… rich, fat, jovial voice… “No more work tonight.”… one vast substantial smile… beaming and lovable…’ – contrast and juxtaposition to Scrooge.

‘I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one, until the master passion, Gain, engrosses you.’ – Scrooge values money over family and charity.

The second scene of Belle – The life Scrooge could have led.

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Key Quotes: Stave 3

‘… turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat,…’ – represent the spirit of Christmas & wealth.

‘“To any kindly given. To a poor one most.”… the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house’ – The Ghost is concerned for the poor.

‘If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.’ – the Ghost repeats Scrooge’s words to show him how he is contradicting himself – Scrooge feels guilty.

‘This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.’ – Scrooge is like the boy and will be doomed if he doesn’t change his ways.

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Key Quotes: Stave 4

‘… one little knot of business men.’ – These people represent Ignorance.

‘“… I wouldn’t give another sixpence, if I was to be boiled for not doing it…”’ – These people represent Want.

Ignorance & Want are represented as real people to show the extent of the problem – it does happen in real life. As a metaphor they are believed especially when they are presented as real people.

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Dictionary: Stave 1

Emphatically - done or said in a strong way and without any doubt

Solemnized - to perform the official marriage ceremony

Covetous - wanting to have something too much

Ruddy - red

Morose - unhaappy, annoyed, and unwilling to speak or smile

Indignantly - angry because of somehing that is wrong or not fair

Resolute - determined in character, action, or ideas

Liberality - respecting and allowing many different types of beliefs

Destitute - without money, food, a home or possessions

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Dictionary: Stave 1 (Continued)

Facetious - not serious about a serious subject, in an attempt to be funny

Incredulous - not wanting or not able to believe something

Caustic - way of speaking that is hurtful, critical, or intentionally unkind

Countenance - the appearance/expression of someone's face, or approval

Penance - an act that shows that you feel sorry about something that you have done

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Dictionary: Stave 2

Repeater – a watch or clock which repeats its last strike when required

Half-recumbent – half lying down

Reverently – showing great respect and admiration

Supplication – a person who ​asks a ​god or someone who is in a ​position of ​power for something in a ​humble way

Fervour – strong and sincere beliefs

Jocund – in a happy mood

Retentive – to remember things easily

Latent – present but ​needing ​particular ​conditions to ​become ​active, ​obvious, or ​completely ​developed

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Dictionary: Stave 2 (Continued)

Despondent – unhappy and with no hope or enthusiasm

Earnestness – serious and determined

Condescension – if you condescend to do something, you ​agree to do something that you do not ​consider to be good enough for ​your ​social ​position

Celestial – of or from the sky or outside this world

Hoar – greyish white; grey or grey-haired with age

Thoroughfare – a main road in a town

Tumult – a state of confusion or disorder

Avarice – extreme greed for wealth or material gain

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Dictionary: Stave 2 (Continued Again)

Sordid – dirty or squalid

Fraught – (of a situation or course of action) filled with (something undesirable)

Supposition – a belief held without proof or certain knowledge

Dowerless – lacking a dower or dowry

Repentance – sincere regret or remorse

Pinioned – restrain or immobilize by tying up

Comely – pleasant to look at

Uproarious – characterized by or provoking loud noise or uproar

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Dictionary: Stave 2 (Continued Again Again)

Brigands – a member of a gang that ambushes and robs people in forests and mountains

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Dictionary: Stave 4

Snuff – to put out a flame, especially a candle

Excrescence – something considered to be very ugly

Render – to give something such as a ​service to ​people

Offal – the ​organs inside an ​animal, such as the ​brain, and the ​liver, ​eaten as ​food

Sepulchres – a stone structure where someone is buried

Frowzy – scruffy and neglected in appearance

Charwoman – a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office

Stair-rod – a rod for securing a carpet in the angle between two steps

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Dictionary: Stave 4 (Continued)

Gallantry – polite attention or respect given by men to women

Calico – a type of cotton cloth, typically plain white or unbleached

Bereft – sad and lonely, especially through someone's death or departure

Hearth-stone – a flat stone forming a hearth or part of a hearth

Beseech – ask someone urgently and fervently to do or give something

Inexorable – impossible to persuade; unrelenting

Repleted – filled or well-supplied with something

Intercedes – intervene on behalf of another

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Brilliant! However, there's nothing on Stave 5?

Bushra Patel


Isn't it 'Fred', as his nephew, not 'Freddy'?

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