A Christmas Carol

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
Scrooge’s loyal clerk, he is very poorly treated by his boss and his large family live in cold and poverty. The eldest children work hard and Bob is always looking to find them better situations. His youngest son, Tiny Tim, is the light of Bob's life but is very ill and needs medical attention that Bob can't afford. Bob is a prime example of the virtues of Christmas and provides the antidote to Scrooge. He is also a symbol of forgiveness – he toasts to Scrooge, despite his horrible work conditions, and in the face of Scrooge’s eventual remorse, is open and accepting rather than bitter.

Bob Cratchit Quotes in A Christmas Carol

The A Christmas Carol quotes below are all either spoken by Bob Cratchit or refer to Bob Cratchit. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A Christmas Carol published in 2003.
Stave 3 Quotes

Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. […]Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it
was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so.

Related Characters: Bob Cratchit
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

The Ghost of Christmas Present brings Scrooge to the home of Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's clerk. Bob and his wife have many children, including one, Tiny Tim, who is very ill and walks using a crutch. Though the family is very poor, they are rich in love for each other, and greatly enjoy each other's company. In this quote, the narrator notes that everyone in the family praises the pudding Bob's wife has put out for Christmas dinner, even though it is too small for the entire family to take part in for a satisfying meal. The narrator also notes that it would have been "flat heresy" to comment on the meagerness of the dish, since the family knows that Mrs. Cratchit has done her best to provide with what they have. 

Scrooge, who previously scolded Fred for feeling merry despite his poverty, is here introduced to a family that has very little explicitly due to his greediness--they are poor because Scrooge pays Bob next to nothing. Yet, they are loving and grateful for what they do have. The visit to the Cratchit family dinner introduces Scrooge to the concept of being grateful for what one has, instead of being bitter for what one does not possess. The family members are loving and have each other, even if they are lacking in many other things. Yet Scrooge, who has means far beyond theirs, is bitter and mean because he lacks love. This scene helps Scrooge learn how to prioritize people above money and means. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other A Christmas Carol quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Stave 5 Quotes

'Now, I'll tell you what, my friend,' said Scrooge, 'I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,' he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again; 'and therefore I am about to raise your salary!'

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge (speaker), Bob Cratchit
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

The day after Christmas, Bob Cratchit arrives late to work. In this quote, Scrooge pretends that he is furious at this indiscretion and is about to fire Bob. Instead, he announces that he is going to give him a raise to his salary.

After having learned the true meaning of empathy and generosity, Scrooge enjoys pranking Bob using his previously cruel attitude. He is completely aware of how cruel he has been up until now, and how much people resent him for his meanness. He knows that Bob needs the money much more than he does, due to the illness of his son Tiny Tim. Thus, for the first time, Scrooge is delighted at the prospect of giving away his money to someone who needs it more than he does--the definition of charity and generosity. Scrooge now derives joy from being kind to his fellow man, and as he soon learns, being kind to others usually means they will be kind to you. Thanks to his warning from Marley and the lessons of the Ghosts, Scrooge lives out his days in happiness and in happy company, embodying Tiny Tim's sentiment of "God bless us, every one"--and thus Dickens' moral fable ends neatly and happily. 

Get the entire A Christmas Carol LitChart as a printable PDF.
A christmas carol.pdf.medium

Bob Cratchit Character Timeline in A Christmas Carol

The timeline below shows where the character Bob Cratchit appears in A Christmas Carol. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Stave 1
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...dark even though it’s only three o’clock. Scrooge has a small fire, but his clerk, Bob Cratchit, who works in a little cell attached to Scrooge’s office, barely has a coal... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...him good. Apart from its sacred meaning, it is a time for goodness and charity. Bob Cratchit applauds from his cell and Scrooge threatens to fire him if he makes another... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...questions with an angry “good afternoon!” Fred leaves kindly and on his way out wishes Cratchit a Merry Christmas. Scrooge mutters that Cratchit, with a wife and family and nothing to... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
At closing time, Scrooge turns to Bob Cratchit and taunts him for wanting the day off for Christmas day. He doesn’t understand... (full context)
Stave 3
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
...magic ability to fit into any space, despite his giant size, and as they enter Bob Cratchit’s tiny lodgings, this is especially wondrous. The ghost sprinkles some of his incense. They... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
Martha, a daughter, arrives home late—she has been working and has brought the goose. Mrs. Cratchit is ecstatic to see her. But just as Martha has greeted them, they see Mr.... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...the lovely smell and how lucky they are. When they have eaten every morsel, Mrs. Cratchit goes nervously to get the pudding. She brings back the flaming round pudding and they... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Just then, Scrooge jumps—Bob Cratchit has said Scrooge's name, in a toast. Mrs. Cratchit says she doesn’t understand how... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
They talk about employment, and Mr. Cratchit says that Scrooge might have work for Peter, the eldest. Martha Cratchit tells them about... (full context)
Stave 4
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...lying alone in that house. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes him to Bob Cratchit’s house, where the Cratchits are unusually silent, waiting for Bob to come home. Mrs.... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
At that moment, Bob enters, wrapped in his blanket. His family help him to tea and his children gather... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Bob then tells his family of the beautiful kindness of Scrooge’s nephew, whom he met in... (full context)
Stave 5
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The next day, Scrooge goes to the office, in the hope of catching Bob Cratchit coming in late. Sure enough, Cratchit arrives late, and Scrooge pretends to be his... (full context)