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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge is the central character of the play. We can know his character by looking up the meaning of 'scrooge' in a dictionary. It means 'someone who hates spending money'. Scrooge owns a warehouse and hates spending money even for celebrating Christmas. He has no sympathy for the poor and believes that they should be dumped into prisons and ware-houses rather than helped by him because he hates spending money even on charity. He does not believe in celebrating Christmas because celebrations entail expenditure. He even calls Christmas 'humping'. He even turns away his only relative Fred - his nephew who comes to invite him to join in the Christmas celebrations. He preferS the poor to die and decrease the surplus population to spending money on charity.

He even grudges giving a day's holiday to his loyal hard-working and honest clerk, Bob Cratchit, to enable him to celebrate Christmas. Poor Bob is grossly underpaid by Scrooge.

Scrooge is such a miserly person that even on the Christmas Day he lights a single candle and eats cold supper to save lighting his stove. He lives in 'melancholy chambers'.

Scrooge is totally changed by encounters with four ghosts - the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future and the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley.

The ghost of Jacob Marley tells, him that he has been travelling for seven years after death due to a feeling of remorse because he had thought only of money instead of charity, mercy, forbearance and benevolence. He has had no rest, no peace only remorse. Marley's ghost tells Scrooge that as part of his penance he has come to warn scrooge to escape Marley's fate by totally changing his life style. He tells him that three more ghosts will come in the same night, he should heed them and reform himself.

c The first ghost - the ghost of Christmas Past comes first at 1 hour and takes him into the past. The first scene is from his old school. Scrooge is crying on Christmas because his is all abone and he has no place to go to. Scrooge remembers how he had turned away his nephew Fred during the day refusing to participate in. The second scene is the visit of his sister, Fan, to take him back home and celebrate Christmas together - with their father. But Scrooge refuses to go. In the third scene, Scrooge is shown the girl whom he was to marry. This girl, Belle, frees Scrooge from the obligation to marry her because he valued money more than her, in fact, more than anything else. Belle is shown to be very happy with her children. Scrooge is very much upset and wishes to go back.

The second ghost - the ghost of Christmas Present appears and takes Scrooge along with it. He is taken to the house of an underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit. Bob is shown carrying his fifth child, Tim, who is crippled. Bob can't afford a doctor for Tim at 15 shillings a week which Scrooge pay him. Tim went to the church with his crutch so that God would know his disability and others could pray for him. And now Tim is filled with hope for his recovery.

The Cratchit's are a happy and united family who enjoy the meagre goose as a sumptuous banquet. They are indeed noble for they toast to Mr Scrooge's health and long-life and wish him well.

A change is coming over Scrooge. He has acquired sympathy for the poor and wishes them well.

The third ghost - the ghost of Christmas yet to come - appears. The third ghost stops along with Scrooge on a street corner where two persons are discussing someone who has just died. They are sure that he didn't give his money to charity. The dead man lived in a desolate house and was utterly friendless - nobody is even willing to go to his funeral. Scrooge doesn't have the power to look at the face of the dead man. He wants to see some tenderness. He is taken to Cratchit's. They are all very happy because Tiny Tim has got rid of his crutch. Next Scrooge is taken to a graveyard and made to read his own tombstone. But Scrooge protests. He has changed and he will honour Christmas. He promises to practise whatever the three spirits have taught him. Scrooge hears joys church bells and finds himself at home. He raises the window and finds a boy on the street. It is Christmas Day. He throws money to the boy requesting him to buy a big turkey from the poulterer's and deliver it to Bob Cratchit. The boy is not to tell the name of the sender and keep the considerable change left over. Scrooge goes to his Fred's house with a present and promises to be his most persistent guest.

At the end of the story, Scrooge is a totally changed man. He took his nephew Fred into business, raised Bob Cratchit's salary much beyond his expectations and provided all possible medical acid to Tiny Tim. He helped keep alive the spirit of Christmas.

Questions :


Why did Scrooge's nephew, Fred, come to him? (1 mark)


Fred came to invite Scrooge for dinner on Christmas Eve.




What is Scrooge's attitude to the poor and destitute? (1 mark)


He wants them to be in prisons and work houses.




How does Scrooge spend Christmas Eve? (2 mark)


In order to save expenditure on lighting his stove, he eats a cold dinner in his gloomy suite of rooms by the light of a single flickering candle.




Why has the ghost of Marley come to Scrooge? (1 mark)


To ghost has come to warn Scrooge so that he does not meet the same miserable fate as Marley.




How many spirits haunt Scrooge on that night? (1 mark)


Three spirits haunt Scrooge on that night.




At what time do the spirits come? (1 mark)


The first spirit comes at 1 a.m., the second comes at 2 a.m. and the third one comes at 3 a.m.




What does the first ghost show Scrooge? (1 mark)


It shows Scrooge his past life.




Which incidents of Scrooge's life are shown by the first ghost? (5 marks)


Scrooge is first shown his childhood school. He is all above during Christmas holidays. He is crying as he has no place to go to.

Then his sister, Fan, comes to school to take him house during Christmas. Finally, he is shown Belle, the girl he was to marry. She is happy with her children and blames Scrooge for considering money to be more important then her.




What does the second ghost represent? (1 mark)


The second ghost is the ghost of Christmas Present.




What does it show to Scrooge? (5 marks)


First of all, it shows Scrooge a church where people are very happy.

Secondly, Scrooge is taken to a very poor house in a very poor section of London. But they are a happy family with shining faces in spite of being poor. They wish the Scrooge success, happiness and a long life.

Scrooge has changed. Now he has love and sympathy for Tiny Tim. The ghost taunts Scrooge.




What does the third ghost represent? (1 marks)


The third ghost is the ghost of Christmas yet to come.




What does the third ghost show to Scrooge? (5 marks)


First of all Scrooge is shown two men talking. They are talking about a rich man who has died. They are sure that he hasn't left any money to charity. Nobody wants to go to his burial.

Then Scrooge is taken to a very dark room where the unclaimed body is lying. But he can not see and recognize the dead body. He wants to see a home where there is some tenderness connected with death.

Next he is taken to Bob Cratchit's house. Martha Cratchit's daughter shows tenderness about her mother's eyes and they all love one another. Everybody is very happy that Tiny Tim at last got rid of his crutch.

Finally, Scrooge is taken to a graveyard and he reads his won tomb stone. He is shocked and affirms that he has changed - 'I am not the man I was' and 'I will honour Christmas in my heart'.




Do you think Scrooge has changed completely? (1 marks)


Yes, he has changed completely.




Give example to show that Scrooge is a changed man. (3 marks)


Scrooge is a completely changed man. He visits his nephew, Fred, regularly and has taken him into his business. He has raised Bob Cratchit's salary many folds. He spent a lot of money on Tiny Tim's treatment. Scrooge kept the spirit of Christmas alive.


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