A Christmas Carol Synopsis

A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly man who despises Christmas. Scrooge started a business with Jacob Marley, who was very similar to Scrooge, but since Marley died Scrooge runs the business alone, treating one of his staff members, Bob Cratchit, very poorly.  

One night Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, who warns Scrooge that if he does not become kinder he will have an awful fate after death. Marley tells Scrooge that in the coming nights he will be visited by three more ghosts. Initially Scrooge fails to take the warning seriously but as the ghostly visits become more terrifying, Scrooge begins to realise that he must change his ways.  

By the end of the story Scrooge has completely transformed, having learnt the importance of charity, friendship and generosity. Christmas is now his favourite time of the year and he does all he can to help Bob Cratchit and his family.  

The Story in Context

Dickens’s most famous ghost story was written in the autumn of 1843 as a reaction to the suffering of poor children. Published on the 19th of December that year, it was an instant success. The book was expensive to produce with its’ colour illustrations, and along with the author’s insistence that the cost to buy the book should not be greater than 5 Shillings, Dickens did not earn a great profit from the title.


"Good Spirit,'' he pursued, as down upon the ground he fell before it: "Your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!'' 

The kind hand trembled. 

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.'' 

The Haunted Man
To Be Read at Dusk
The Signalman
Haunted House
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