First print: 1843
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickins's popular tale of a miser's conversion through the agencies of love and fear, combines elements of the fairy tale, the allegorical dream vision, and the social tract.
· Ebenezer Scrooge, a rich businessman, a miser (vrek).
· Jacob Marley, Scrooge's partner, now dead.
· Bab Chratchit, Scrooge's poor clerk.
· Mrs Chratchit and the Chratchit children: Martha, Belinda, Peter and Tiny Tim.
· Fred, Scrooge's nephew, and his friend Topper.
· Old Joe, a second-hand dealer.
· Mr Fezziweg, a jolly businessman to whom Scrooge was apprentices as a boy.
· The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Chrismas Yet to Come.
A carol is a religious song of joy and praise that people sing at Easter or, especially, Christmas. The greath age of carol singing was the fifteenth century, but carols like 'Joy to the Wolrd' are still sung at Christmas time. The story, like a Christmas carol, expresses the joy of Christmas.
A Christmas Carol is a Christmas story. Dickins used to write one every year. It is a modern fairy tale about Christian charity and universal goodwill. Scrooge is a man who is interested only in making an saving money, who has no room in his heart for love or human kindness. The three ghosts bring about a change in Scrooge, so that he becomes a better person, one who lives all year round in the Spirit of Christmas.
The story is situated in London, in Dickins' own time. THe author describes the atmosphere in London at Christmas time, with the fog and cold on the streets contrasting with the warmth and joy of the people celebrating the holiday in their homes and in their hearts.
Point Of View
The story is told by an omniscient author, mostly from Scrooge's pont of view.
The story's most memorable elements are those of cheer (Christmas food shops, Fezziwig's ball, the Cratchits' goose dinner, the game of forfeits at Scrooge's nephew's) and of pathos (the uncertain fate of crippled Tiny Tim). But Dickens also conveys his morbid concern with personal annihilation and his social indignation through the dramatic portrayal of the Ghost of the Future and the figures of Ignorance and Want attending the Ghost of Christmas Present.
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