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A Christmas Carol-- Plot Summary

  • Date Submitted: 08/02/2011 09:56 AM
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A Christmas Carol-- Plot summary
A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of one evening. Mr Scrooge is a financier/money-changer who has devoted his life to the accumulation of wealth. He holds anything other than money in contempt, including friendship, love and the Christmas season.
Ebenezer Scrooge encounters "Ignorance" and "Want" in A Christmas CarolIn keeping with the musical analogy of the title, A Christmas Carol, Dickens divides his literary work into five "staves" instead of chapters. This is a little joke Dickens has carried out throughout the story, it adds humour to the story and links in because, a stave is something you will find in a piece of music, and a "carol" is a type of music/song.
Stave I – Marley’s Ghost
The story begins by establishing that Jacob Marley, Scrooge's business partner in the firm of Scrooge & Marley, was dead—the narrative begins seven years after his death to the very day, Christmas Eve. Scrooge and his clerk Bob Cratchit are at work in the counting house, with Cratchit stationed in the poorly heated "tank", a victim of his employer's stinginess. Scrooge's nephew, Fred, enters to wish his uncle a "Merry Christmas" and invite him to Christmas dinner the next day. He is dismissed by his relative with "Bah! Humbug!" among other unpleasantness, declaring Christmas time to be a fraud. Two "portly gentlemen", collecting charitable donations for the poor, come in afterwards, but they too are rebuffed by Scrooge, who points out that the poor laws and workhouses are sufficient to care for the poor. When Scrooge is told that many would rather die than go there, he mercilessly responds, "If they would rather die ... they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." At the end of the workday, Scrooge grudgingly allows Cratchit to take Christmas Day off, but to arrive to work all the earlier on the day...

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