A Christmas Carol

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The quintessential miser, he is cruel-hearted, underpays his clerk Bob Cratchit, and says “Humbug!” to the Christmas festivities that bring joy to everyone around him. But when he is visited by the ghost of his old partner Jacob Marley, he begins to see the error of his ways. Scrooge is shown his own past, and the sight of his neglected childhood Christmasses begins to explain why he began his downward spiral into misery. Scrooge is scared and regretful when he sees the vivid images of the Christmas Yet to Come, which predictably leaves him dying alone. His reversal, from the anti-Christmas figure to the spirit of Christmas shows clearly the message of hope and forgiveness Dickens intended for his readers.

Ebenezer Scrooge Quotes in A Christmas Carol

The A Christmas Carol quotes below are all either spoken by Ebenezer Scrooge or refer to Ebenezer Scrooge. 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 1 Quotes

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

In establishing the setting and characters of the novella, the narrator makes sure to impart upon the reader that Scrooge is not just a grumpy, jaded old man--he is mean to the core, and makes sure no one mistakes him as otherwise. This quote illustrates the narrator's emphatic attempt to use every adjective to describe Scrooge's meanness, and epitomizes Dickens' characteristically descriptive (and here amusing and rather lighthearted) prose. 

This quote illustrates a number of images that help the reader to understand just how cruel Scrooge is: he is not just tight-fisted in terms of his finances, but rather "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping," to the point that he pinches every penny and will not let one coin fall out of his grasp for a poorer soul to snatch. And yet, despite his hoarded wealth, he is still a "covetous old sinner," who wants more and more yet refuses to spend one bit of it (covetousness, or greedy envy, is one of the seven deadly sins). He is "hard and sharp as flint," suggesting he is caustic and mean to anyone who comes close enough to be pricked by his words, and "no steel had ever struck out generous fire," meaning no human being has ever coaxed him into exuding any kind of warmth or philanthropy. Like an oyster that keeps its pearl inside, and only relinquishes its inner jewel when pried open and ultimately dead, Scrooge thoroughly intends to keep his wealth to himself until the day he dies--and, ideally, to his own earthly grave.

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'A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!' cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge's nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach.
'Bah!' said Scrooge, 'Humbug!'

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge (speaker), Fred Scrooge (speaker)
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

One cold Christmas Eve, seven years after Marley's death, Scrooge's nephew Fred comes into the business to invite his uncle to his Christmas day dinner. Scrooge immediately rejects the invitation, lamenting the fact that workers expect the day off with pay on such a holiday, and suggests that he, not his impoverished workers, is the one being taken advantage of. He is scornful of Fred's youthful joy, and tells him he shouldn't be so happy since he is poor. 

In this quote, Scrooge uses his signature phrase "Bah, Humbug!" to refute his nephew's well-wishes. "Bah" is a sound Scrooge uses to express scorn, and "humbug" means a lie or false behavior. Thus, Scrooge here denies both that Christmas is a merry time and that God will save him--or, perhaps, anyone. Scrooge's meanness extends even to himself--he is not fond of anyone or anything, including his own life or future. Scrooge sees so much negativity in the world that he does not find much merriness or salvation anywhere in his life or anyone else's. He is irritated when anyone suggests anything to the contrary, and thus a cheerful greeting such as this is exactly the sort of statement that grinds his gears. 

'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!'

Related Characters: Jacob Marley (speaker), Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

Marley's ghost, wrapped in chains, visits Scrooge in his room that night. He is bound by his sins--represented by the chains--to roam the earth in purgatory. He thus visits Scrooge to warn him to change his ways or face a miserable fate like his after death. Scrooge expresses surprise at Marley's sentence, saying that he was a "good man of business." In this quote, Marley is upset by Scrooge's statement, noting that the business of dealing with goods and finances is but a small aspect of life; paying respect to his fellow mankind should have been his business, as he has only seen too late. 

Marley visits Scrooge to show him what kind of fate--or perhaps worse--awaits him if he continues his miserly ways. Scrooge's only delight in life is the making and hoarding of money, and Marley here urges him to think of the "common welfare," which Scrooge refuses to acknowledge. Scrooge thinks every person's misery is their own fault, and to be poor is to be lazy and to be wealthy is to have high morals. In making and keeping his own wealth, spending very little and giving away absolutely nothing, Scrooge equates his thrift to morality and assumes that this will buy his way into heaven. Marley refutes this thinking and tells him quite the opposite: to ignore one's fellow men in need is to buy one's way down towards Hell. Just because Scrooge chooses to ignore everyone in need, doesn't mean that his inaction cannot be counted against him at St. Peter's Gate: he is equally at fault for what he does not do (give affection or charity to anyone or anything) than what he does do (hoard his money). Marley's apparition serves to warn him of what will happen if he continues to live a solitary and mean life--an afterlife of regrets and woe. 

Stave 2 Quotes

'The school is not quite deserted,' said the Ghost. 'A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still.'
Scrooge said he knew it. And he sobbed.

Related Characters: The Ghost of Christmas Past (speaker), Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

The Ghost of Christmas Past first brings Scrooge to his old boarding school, which he attended as a child. Though it is mostly deserted because the students went home for the holidays, young Scrooge remains behind for unclear reasons. In this quote, Scrooge weeps at the lonely memory. 

Thus far in the story, Scrooge has been a mean and unfeeling character, immune to the woes of others. This sudden onset of tears reveals Scrooge's hidden softer side, and shows his capacity for empathy, inspired by his younger self. The first stop on teaching Scrooge the error of his ways is showing him his own trials and tribulations--Scrooge, like everyone else, has a past full of both struggles and happiness, that has served to shape him into the man he is today. His meanness is not spontaneous or voluntary, just like other people's poverty is not due to laziness or a lack of morals. Opening up Scrooge to the realities of his past is the first step in teaching him the true meaning of generosity, charity, and of the Christmas spirit. 

'Our contract is an old one. It was made when we were both poor and content to be so, until, in good season, we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry. You are changed. When it was made, you were another man.'

Related Characters: Belle (speaker), Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

The Ghost brings Scrooge to a scene that occurred when he was a young man. In this scene, Scrooge's girlfriend at the time, Belle, tells him that it is time they part ways--though they have made many plans together, and are even engaged, his ambitions and thirst for money have changed him such that she no longer loves him. 

In this quote, Belle notes that they were once content to be poor in money yet rich in love, but now Scrooge's greediness has changed him into a new person entirely, one whom she neither knows nor loves. Like the Christmas that Scrooge spent at school as a child, this is evidence of why Scrooge has become a hard, mean old man, in particular about the topic of Christmas. Each Christmas becomes the anniversary when he lost his beloved, and marks the day that he descended into a truly miserly, lonely existence. His money and business sense became the only thing he had in life, so he has clung onto his wealth and success while refusing the company of those who may end up hurting him, like Belle did. This scene brings Scrooge immense pain, further evidence that it is a wound he has carried with him for many years. 

Stave 3 Quotes

In easy state upon this couch, there sat a jolly Giant, glorious to see, who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike Plenty's horn, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on Scrooge, as he came peeping round the door.

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, The Ghost of Christmas Present
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

The second Ghost that visits Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Present. In this quote, the narrator describes his physical presence, which, though large and imposing, is friendly and genial. 

The Ghost's torch is symbolic of this Ghost's method of enlightening Scrooge as to the importance of being kind to others and having empathy. The Horn of Plenty (or "cornucopia") is a symbol of generosity and charity, qualities which Scrooge sorely lacks but which his next peek into others' present Christmases will soon inspire him to embody. The torch itself is utilized to both physically and metaphorically "shed its light on Scrooge." The Ghost will show Scrooge how other people in his life, like Bob Cratchit and Scrooge's nephew Fred, celebrate Christmas. This will illuminate him as to the woes and struggles of others, but also their willingness to put difficulties aside and enjoy the little things in life on the holiday occasion. The Ghost, in demeanor and likeness, is entirely the opposite of Scrooge--large, jolly, and generous. By showing Scrooge the happiness and joy that even a little bit of generosity can provide, Scrooge begins to make large strides in his journey towards learning to empathize with his fellow man. 

The sight of these poor revellers appeared to interest the Spirit very much, for he stood with Scrooge beside him in a baker's doorway, and taking off the covers as their bearers passed, sprinkled incense on their dinners from his torch.

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, The Ghost of Christmas Present
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

The Ghost takes Scrooge onto the streets of London, where everyone, rich and poor, is celebrating Christmas merrily. When they notice two people getting into an argument over dinner, the Ghost sprinkles incense from his horn of plenty onto their food. Immediately, the quarrel ends, as the arguers suddenly reason that there is no point fighting on the joyous day that is Christmas. 

In this quote, the Ghost shows Scrooge the merits of helping others, even if their misfortunes do not directly apply to him. The Ghost has no personal, vested interest in ensuring that these two people make amends, but it makes him happy to make them happy. Scrooge has more than enough wealth to do some good in the lives of those less fortunate, but refuses to engage in any kind of generosity, as he does not feel any impetus to help in the plight of others. He cites the poorhouse and jails as forms of welfare that already exist, thus, as he believes, rendering those who remain poor to be lazy and foolish for not finding ways to change their present situation. (Dickens was a famous opponent of both institutions, which did nothing to relieve poverty or crime.) In this quote, the Ghost shows Scrooge that just a little bit of generosity goes a long way, and can inspire a good feeling in both giver and receiver. Charity, Scrooge begins to learn, is a worthy cause regardless of whether he has any sort of tangible debt towards those less fortunate. He has more than he needs, and using his means to put a smile on another's face is cause enough to join the charitable spirit of Christmas. 

Stave 4 Quotes

The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently approached. When it came, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery.

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

The fourth Ghost that visits Scrooge is the Ghost of Christmas Future. In this quote, the Phantom is described as very somber, draped in a cloak, and reminiscent of the Grim Reaper. He is silent and grim, a direct contrast to the Ghosts of Past and Present. The Ghost's very demeanor brings Scrooge to his knees.

The morbidity that surrounds the presence of this Ghost, particularly compared to the youthful glow of the Ghost of Christmas Past and the jolly generosity of the Ghost of Christmas Present, is an ominous sign for Scrooge's Christmases to come. Though Christmas, as all of the Ghosts attempt to show Scrooge, is a time when generosity and charity are supposed to be available to all, if Scrooge does not change his ways, his future Christmases will be ones of misery and despair. Comparing his Christmases past, present, and future will inspire Scrooge to revise his attitude towards himself and his fellow man so that what he views as the future in its current state will never actually come to be. 

'Ghost of the Future!' he exclaimed, 'I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?'

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge (speaker), The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

By the time the Ghost of Christmas Future comes to visit Scrooge, he has already learned his lesson: no good will ever come of his miserly ways, for himself or for the people around him. Yet, the Ghost refuses to address him, even though Scrooge entreats him to do so in this quote. 

Unlike the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, who help guide Scrooge to understand aspects of his past and present in order to learn his lesson about charity and empathy, the Ghost of Christmas Future does not speak to Scrooge. Rather, he brings him to the circumstances surrounding the death of an old man who was despised in life, and disparaged in death. Scrooge must realize for himself that this fate is to be his if he does not revise his attitude and moral sentiments. By refusing to speak to Scrooge, the Ghost ensures that this realization is entirely the old man's own, rendering the lesson much more powerful. 

'If he wanted to keep them after he was dead, a wicked old screw,' pursued the woman, 'why wasn't he natural in his lifetime? If he had been, he'd have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with Death, instead of lying gasping out his last there, alone by himself.'

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge
Related Symbols: Images of Age and Youth
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

The Ghost of Christmas Future brings Scrooge to the room where people are picking apart the possessions of a man who recently died. In this quote, an enterprising woman who is taking the deceased man's things argues that if the old man wanted to keep his things or give them to a person of his choosing, he should have been kinder (more "natural") in life. Due to his meanness, the reader learns that this man died entirely alone, "gasping out his last...alone by himself."

As Scrooge soon learns, the man in question is him--and this solitary death is to be his fate if he does not change his ways. As a wealthy but stingy man, the townspeople who hear of his death revel in taking from Scrooge the things that they could never have for want of resources. Had Scrooge been more generous with his time, kindness, and wealth, he may have had friends and family surrounding him as he gasped out his last breath. But due to his miserly ways, he had no one, and died completely alone. As a result, there was no one to protect his estate after his passing, rendering his possessions completely up for grabs. To those whom Scrooge spurned in his living days, stealing the dead man's possessions is a kind of revenge on his stinginess in life--if he wouldn't be generous and donate his time or money, then they would take what they needed in his death, if only out of spite. When Scrooge realizes that the man they so despise is himself, he suddenly sees that this is not how anyone should aspire to end their days. Scrooge soon learns that empathy and kindness is worth far more than its weight in gold, and the company and love of others during and after one's life will always be more important than how much is in one's bank account. 

He recoiled in terror, for the scene had changed, and now he almost touched a bed: a bare, uncurtained bed: on which, beneath a ragged sheet, there lay a something covered up, which, though it was dumb, announced itself in awful language.

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

The Ghost brings Scrooge to a terrifying scene in this quote: a dead body, alone and covered by a "ragged sheet" on a bare bed.

This body is the dead man that the people spoke of as they stole his things. Entirely stripped of his possessions, the body is left alone on a bare bed with only a torn sheet to cover it. This image symbolizes what the man has once his money and items are gone: no one, and nothing. Without any friends or loved ones to mourn him, the body left behind is nothing more than an empty vessel devoid even of the mean spirit that used to occupy it. This stark and scary scene jolts Scrooge. Though the body does not announce itself because it is "dumb," it does so in "awful language," that of silence. Scrooge realizes that this "awful language" of silence, in which the Ghost itself also converses with him, is all that he looks forward to for the rest of his days and beyond if he does not learn how to form, cultivate, and care for human connection. 

Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:

After the Ghost finishes taking Scrooge to multiple scenes of people rejoicing over the death of a disliked man, the Phantom brings Scrooge to one final location: a grave yard. Though Scrooge has been demanding to know who this man is, he finally realizes the man's name when he sees his own upon a "neglected grave": Ebenezer Scrooge.

The ominous demeanor of the Ghost, reminiscent of the Grim Reaper of Death, is because the only Christmas that Scrooge has in his current future is that of death. Without people who love and care for him, Scrooge is destined to die alone. His death, as he has been shown, is currently fated to be rejoiced by all the people whom he wronged and was deliberately unkind to during life. Before being introduced to the inner lives and worlds of those whom he disparaged, Scrooge was not mindful of the struggles of others. However, thanks to the scenes the Ghosts have shown him, he understands how and why certain people act the way they do and live by more meager means: to others, it is more important to cultivate love and relationships than it is to conduct ruthless business in the pursuit of money. By seeing the love and happiness that people poorer than he enjoy, Scrooge learns to re-prioritize his life and embody the generous Christmas spirit 365 days a year in order to avoid this grim fate. 

Stave 5 Quotes

'I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!' Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. 'The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh, Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees!'

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge (speaker), Jacob Marley
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

After the final grim visit to the grave yard, Scrooge awakens the next day with a firm resolve to change his ways. In this quote, he thanks the Ghost of his one and only friend, Jacob Marley, for showing him the importance of rejecting their mutual miserly ways to avoid a purgatorial fate like his. 

Scrooge resolves to embody all three spirits: the youthful reminiscence of the Ghost of Christmas Past, the joy, understanding, and generosity of the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the somber foresight of the Ghost of Christmas Future. He knows now that it is important to understand one's own context and perspective, as well as those of others, to properly conduct oneself with kindness and charity. Scrooge has some good reasons for acting particularly bitter around Christmas--there are unhappy memories from his past that make the holiday a sore subject--but he also has very happy memories that he has now learned to try and evoke, such as old Fizziwig's ball. As he has awoken on Christmas Day itself, he now has the chance to evoke the spirit of Christmas Present, and immediately spread joy and generosity on the people who deserve and need it. 

He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk – that anything – could give him so much happiness.

Related Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

Scrooge dashes out of his house, eager for the first time in years to interact with and enjoy the presence of his neighbors. For the first time, he derives pleasure from seeing people come and go, and delights at the very feeling of such happiness. 

In this quote, Scrooge embodies for the first time the true spirit of Christmas as it has been imparted on him in the night. Though he has valued only business and money for decades, he suddenly realizes that it did not actually provide him with any happiness to make and hoard his wealth. His journeys with the Ghosts have shown him the importance of prioritizing the presence of people in his life, and the great gift of having the means to be generous and charitable. When he is dead and gone, he will not be able to enjoy his wealth and bitterness in the afterlife--the only thing he will be able to carry with him are the memories of his interactions with his fellow man. Marley, for his part, is bound to bear the weight of his meanness and miserly ways in the form of heavy chains. (He seemingly wasn't given the same supernatural aid as Scrooge.) Scrooge, now that he has understood the true meaning of empathy, charity, and of Christmas (as a kind of charitable ideal, not the literal Christian meaning), is free--in his present, and presumably after his death as well. 

'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. 

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Ebenezer Scrooge Character Timeline in A Christmas Carol

The timeline below shows where the character Ebenezer Scrooge appears in A Christmas Carol. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Stave 1
Family Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The narrator states that there was no doubt about Marley’s death. Scrooge, Marley’s business partner, signed the register of his burial. The narrator considers that the phrase... (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
Scrooge did not seem to grieve much (apart from the loss of business), and got a... (full context)
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is in his counting house. It is a freezing, foggy day and is quite dark... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, enters the office, wishing a merry Christmas. Unlike Scrooge, he is a picture... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Scrooge tells Fred to leave him alone, that Christmas has never done any good. Fred responds... (full context)
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Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Finally, Fred asks Scrooge if he will dine with him and his wife for Christmas dinner. Scrooge objects to... (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
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
Two gentlemen call next, asking Scrooge which one of the two partners listed above the door he is. Scrooge informs them... (full context)
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
Scrooge inquires about the prisons and workhouses, and, hearing that they still exist, doesn’t see any... (full context)
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...passes, the fog and cold become more severe. The clock tower that looks down on Scrooge’s office chimes. The shops, decorated with seasonal regalia, are strangely bright in the gloom. Meanwhile... (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.... (full context)
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...the incident with the door knocker, the narrator makes a point of telling us that Scrooge’s door knocker had always been a very ordinary door knocker, and Scrooge himself a very... (full context)
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
But as Scrooge looks, the ghost turns into a knocker again, and Scrooge hurries indoors, annoyed by the... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The ghost appears just as Scrooge remembers Jacob Marley, except that he is totally transparent and carries a huge chain about... (full context)
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Scrooge asks Marley to sit. He wonders, because of his transparency, if he is able to... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
At this, Marley shakes his chain and makes a terrifying sound. Scrooge admits that he believes now but questions why a ghost should come to pursue him.... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
Marley cannot stay long, with many journeys ahead of him. Scrooge jokes that he must have been wandering slowly, having taken seven years to get here,... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Scrooge is now terrified and vows to listen. Marley tells Scrooge that he will soon be... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Then, Marley’s ghost beckons Scrooge over. Scrooge begins to hear a chorus of wailing sounds, which Marley’s ghost joins. Then... (full context)
Stave 2
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Scrooge awakes and finds his room as dark as when he fell asleep at two o’clock.... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Scrooge goes back to bed and thinks, but the more he thinks that the episode with... (full context)
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Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The ghost introduces itself, in a low, faraway voice, as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Scrooge’s past, in particular. Scrooge gets an urge to shy away from the ghost’s light and... (full context)
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The ghost of Christmas Past leads Scrooge to the window. Scrooge tries to resist, thinking he will fall out of the window,... (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
Scrooge recognizes everything he sees, and names the members of a crowd of passing youths excitedly,... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
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As the boy is reading, a man in a funny costume appears outside the window with a donkey... (full context)
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The ghost of Christmas Past brings forth other visions. Scrooge is now older, alone for another Christmas holiday, but this time a young girl comes... (full context)
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They go to another Christmas, where Young Scrooge is apprenticed at a warehouse. He sees his old boss Fezziwig, a fat, jovial man,... (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
...lightness defying their ages. After the dancing they see their guests to the door, and Scrooge and Dick go to their beds. Scrooge has been watching this display in a frenzy... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...announces that he is running out of time and the vision changes again – now Scrooge is “in the prime of life” next to a weeping girl, who believes she has... (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
...daughter and a herd of other children, boisterously running around. The mother and daughter laugh. Scrooge looks with envy at how the young boys play with their sister, without getting punished.... (full context)
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...and remembers meeting an old friend of hers earlier. Belle guesses that it was Mr. Scrooge. Her husband tells her how he seemed “quite alone in the world”. At hearing this,... (full context)
Stave 3
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Scrooge wakes up the following night, ready to be greeted by the second spirit. He does... (full context)
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...greenery. Amid all this sits the second spirit, who lifts up a glowing torch as Scrooge enters and introduces himself as the Ghost of Christmas Present. His eyes are kind, but... (full context)
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The Ghost of Christmas Present is surprised that Scrooge has not met a spirit like him before, because he has more than eighteen hundred... (full context)
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...on their food, which has a magical effect of making any disagreements vanish. He tells Scrooge that the incense is a particular flavor, and is best given to a poor dinner. (full context)
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...Tiny Tim sits next to his father and says heartily, “God bless us every one”. Scrooge eagerly asks the the Ghost of Christmas Present if Tim will survive. The spirit responds... (full context)
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Just then, Scrooge jumps—Bob Cratchit has said Scrooge's name, in a toast. Mrs. Cratchit says she doesn’t understand... (full context)
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They talk about employment, and Mr. Cratchit says that Scrooge might have work for Peter, the eldest. Martha Cratchit tells them about her hard work... (full context)
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As Scrooge and the spirit wander on through the city, they see wonderful sights like this all... (full context)
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Scrooge is interrupted in his vision by a hearty laugh. All of a sudden they are... (full context)
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Scrooge’s niece plays a tune on the harp that Scrooge remembers fondly. It makes him feel... (full context)
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As Scrooge watches, he joins in the games, making unheard guesses and contributions. He begs the Ghost... (full context)
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Scrooge has been so enlivened by the evening that he is very sorry to go, but... (full context)
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As the bells chime and time passes, Scrooge notices something strange under the Ghost of Christmas Present’s robe. Two children creep out. They... (full context)
Stave 4
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The last ghost approaches, but is shrouded in a black garment so that all Scrooge can see of it is an outstretched hand and a mass of black. This figure... (full context)
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Scrooge follows the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and suddenly they are in the midst... (full context)
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Scrooge looks questioningly to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, but it just moves on... (full context)
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Scrooge realizes the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is looking at him again, and feels... (full context)
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...a sheet. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come points ominously towards the head but Scrooge finds he can't make himself remove the cloth. The narrator recites a lesson about death—that... (full context)
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Scrooge assures the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come that he is aware of the lesson... (full context)
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But Scrooge wishes to see some scrap of tenderness to dim even slightly the terrible image of... (full context)
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Bob then tells his family of the beautiful kindness of Scrooge’s nephew, whom he met in the street. Fred noticed that Bob looked sad and gave... (full context)
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Scrooge can tell that the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is about to leave him.... (full context)
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...of Christmas Yet to Come keeps pointing, now it is clear that he is directing Scrooge to one grave in particular. Scrooge desperately asks whether the things the spirit has shown... (full context)
Stave 5
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Scrooge wakes to find himself back in bed, in his rooms, his face wet with tears.... (full context)
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The church bells start chiming. Scrooge runs to the window and sees a beautifully clear, cold day. He shouts out to... (full context)
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The turkey arrives and Scrooge delights in sending it to the Cratchit house, paying everyone handsomely for the job. He... (full context)
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All morning, Scrooge walks through the town, greeting and talking to people. Then he goes to his nephew’s... (full context)
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The next day, Scrooge goes to the office, in the hope of catching Bob Cratchit coming in late. Sure... (full context)
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The narrator ends by saying that Scrooge does all that he promises, and more. Tiny Tim survives and thrives. Scrooge is popular... (full context)