A Christmas Carol

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A Christmas Carol front piece

A Christmas Carol is a famous book by the English writer Charles Dickens. It was first published on December 17, 1843. The pictures inside were drawn by John Leech. The story has a strong moral message against greed, among other things. It is usually read at Christmas time and has been adapted to theatre, movies, radio, and television many times.

Plot[change | change source]

The story is about Ebenezer Scrooge. At the beginning of the book he is a mean old man who runs a business lending people money. These people are poor and often cannot pay him back. He pays his clerk Bob Cratchit badly.

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge refuses an invitation to his nephew's house for Christmas dinner, telling him he hates it (he calls it a "Humbug"). He then refuses to give money to two men who are collecting for charity.

Later that evening, he is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner Jacob Marley, who went to Hell because of his bad life. He tells Scrooge that the same future will happen to him unless he changes and that during the night he will be visited by three more ghosts. These will show him where he went wrong in his life, and how to be a better person in the future.

The first ghost is the Ghost of Christmas Past. This ghost shows him where he went wrong in the past, showing him his unhappy childhood and how he did not get married.

The second ghost is the Ghost of Christmas Present. This ghost shows him things which are happening now, such as how his clerk, Bob Cratchit, is having a nice Christmas despite not having much money. He also shows him Bob's youngest son, Tiny Tim, who is crippled. Later, the ghost shows him how his nephew is having a good Christmas, and how Scrooge is missing out.

The third ghost is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. This ghost shows Scrooge what Christmas will be like in the future if he does not change. Firstly, people are shown celebrating a man's death and robbing from his house. The ghost also shows him that Tiny Tim has died. Scrooge is then shown his own grave, and realizes that the celebrations were for his death.

On Christmas morning, Scrooge wakes up and realizes that he has to change. He decides to celebrate Christmas, and help Tiny Tim get better. Through the ghosts' help he becomes a better man.

Other websites[change | change source]

Online editions