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.
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
Key Characters: 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.
Key Characters: Scrooge's Nephew, Fred
- He represents all that Scrooge isn’t – warm, loving etc.
Key Characters: Ghost of Christmas Past
Ghost of Christmas Past:
- Wise yet innocent
- 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.
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’.
Key Characters: Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:
- Doesn't talk.
- Dark and old yet wise – symbol of death.
Key Themes: Weather
- The weather gives pathetic fallacy of Scrooges character.
- It is described as ‘bitter’ and ‘pelting’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Dictionary: Stave 2 (Continued Again Again)
Brigands – a member of a gang that ambushes and robs people in forests and mountains
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
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