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A Christmas Carol 1

  • Date Submitted: 12/11/2011 01:32 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.8 
  • Words: 411
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Dickens divides the book into five chapters, which he labels "staves", that is, "(song) stanzas" in keeping with the title of the book. (He uses a similar device in his next two Christmas books, titling the four divisions of The Chimes, "quarters", after the quarter-hour tolling of clock chimes, and naming the parts of The Cricket on the Hearth "chirps".)
The tale begins on a Christmas Eve in 1843 exactly seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge is established within the first stave as a greedy and stingy businessman who has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity or benevolence. After being warned by Marley's ghost to change his ways (lest he undergo the same miserable afterlife as himself), Scrooge is visited by three additional ghosts — each in its turn, and each visit detailed in a separate stave — who accompany him to various scenes with the hope of achieving his transformation.
The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to scenes of his boyhood and youth, which stir the old miser's gentle and tender side by reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to several radically differing scenes (a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner, the family feast of Scrooge's near-impoverished clerk Bob Cratchit, a miner's cottage, and a lighthouse, among other sites) in order to evince from the miser a sense of responsibility for his fellow man. The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, harrows Scrooge with dire visions of the future if he does not learn and act upon what he has witnessed. Scrooge's own neglected and untended grave is revealed, prompting the miser to aver that he will change his ways in hopes of changing these "shadows of what may be."
In the fifth and final stave, Scrooge awakens Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart, then spends the day with...

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