A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens. Menu. Introduction Background Discussion Starters. A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol: Introduction. a familiar, timeless character. ghosts and apparitions. time travel. This classic holiday tale has it all.
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This classic holiday tale has it all.
On a cold and foggy Christmas Eve sometime in the middle 1800s, Ebenezer Scrooge sits working in his office in London.
His clerk toils—seemingly endlessly—with hardly any fire to keep him warm.
Scrooge does not care.
Two gentlemen come by to ask for donations for the poor.
Scrooge’s cheerful nephew Fred stops in to invite his uncle to Christmas dinner.
Scrooge grumpily declines.
Mr. Scrooge does not know that when he gets home that night, he will have some different visitors—
visitors he may not be able to ignore so easily.
One by one, four ghosts appear to Scrooge.
They’ve come to try to convince him to become a nicer person.
The ghosts will show Scrooge
the past he is forgetting,
the present he is missing,
and the future he is shaping.
But will their revelations get through to Scrooge? Will he change his ways?
In Victorian England, poor people usually did not get much help.
Even young children, sick people, and the elderly went without assistance from the government or charities.
If you were a poor, out-of-work Londoner during this time, these were your options:
As a young man, Charles Dickens witnessed a decline in the traditional celebration of Christmas in England.
Because of the Industrial Revolution, many employers wouldn’t even give their employees Christmas Day off.
A Christmas Carol, along with several other Christmas books by Dickens, helped revive the holiday customs.
Some people even started calling Dickens “The Man Who Discovered Christmas.”
Scrooge’s story brought about other changes too. For example, because of the book,
Charles Dickens had experienced poverty as a child, and he was very concerned about the poor people of England.
He raised money to help people in need by reading A Christmas Carol at charity events.
Dickens believed that human beings were largely responsible for society’s ills, such as poverty, hunger, and suffering.