A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is a novel written by Charles Dickens and published in 1843. The book follows a miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge, who owns a business and is obsessed with money. The story takes place on a cold Christmas Eve. While Scrooge is sitting in his shop counting money, and his clerk, Bob Cratchit, is copying letters in the side room, Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, walks in to invite him to his annual Christmas party. Scrooge refuses and is rude, spitting out “Bah! Humbug!” to Fred as he wishes him a merry Christmas but Fred still keeps a merry mood. Scrooge also gets visited by two other men asking him to donate some of his large amounts of money to help people in need. Scrooge responds “Are there no workhouses?” which goes to show that Scrooge doesn’t care about the poor.

As Scrooge enters his house, he suddenly sees the face of his old partner, Jacob Marley, on his knocker. It vanishes, and scrooge dismisses it. However, as he gets into bed the Ghost of Marley floats through his door in chains of moneyboxes and iron. Marley, wishing to save Scrooge from his fate, tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three other spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet To Come.

As the book goes on, the spirits visit his house and teach him the importance of others. Past makes him see his old mistakes, Present makes him see what others are going through and how to give compassion, and Yet To Come shows him what will happen if he doesn’t change his ways. Scrooge holds the meaning of these things in his heart and is deeply moved by Bob Cratchit’s son who is crippled, and as Christmas Day dawns he gives money to those in need and shows kindness to his nephew and the Cratchit family. He treats the crippled boy Tiny Tim as his own, and as the years go by holds Christmas dear to his heart.

A Christmas Carol is a Christmas tale that is filled with themes of kindness, family, redemption, and the joy of the holiday season. The book is filled with many characters with completely different personalities. The miserly Scrooge, the kind but poor Bob Cratchit, the thoughtful young Tiny Tim, and the three ghosts of Christmas. While it isn’t an adventure book or action packed, it is very good and filled with inspiring themes for readers. I enjoyed the book, and I feel that many other people will enjoy it too. The book itself is a bit wordy and slow at some times, but mature readers will be able to read this book and understand its deeper connections.

All in all, I liked this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants to sit down and read a nice holiday tale. Happy Holidays!

-Brandt D.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol–along with every variation–is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, is the well-known story of a miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge.  Scrooge hates everyone.  He mistreats his poor clerk, Bob Cratchit.  All Scrooge cares about is making money.  To Christmas he says, “Bah, Humbug!”  On one Christmas Eve, he leaves work to return to his dark and dreary home.  Strange things begin to happen.  Scrooge is home alone as usual, but he sees and hears things out of the ordinary.  He dismisses these at first, until suddenly, to his astonishment, the ghost of his partner appears to him.  Jacob Marley, his long-dead business partner, is wearing heavy chains.  Marley explains to Scrooge that his chains were formed during his lifetime by evil and selfish deeds, and now he must carry them through the afterlife.  Marley warns Scrooge that he will suffer the same fate if he does not change his ways.

As the familiar story goes, Scrooge is visited by three additional spirits.  The spirits show Scrooge the importance of caring for other people.  Gradually, Scrooge realizes the error of his former ways, and finally resolves to change his life.  When he awakes on Christmas morning, he goes about spreading Christmas cheer, even to the surprise of Cratchit and his family.

I love this book and its inspiring message.  To me, this is a book about change.  Scrooge seemed like a person who would never change his ways.  But even he was able to change.  He learned the value of kindness toward others.  He also learned to care for those less fortunate than him.

This book is quite short compared to many of Dickens’ other books, but for good reason this is considered one of his masterpieces.  As we expect from Charles Dickens, the book is extremely well-written and wonderfully descriptive.  Take for example his description of the city streets:  “The house-fronts looked black enough, and the windows blacker, contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs, and with the dirtier snow upon the ground.”

Dickens masterfully describes many contrasting images throughout the book.  On the one hand we see haunting ghosts and miserable living conditions, but we also see hope and cheerfulness, and finally the redemption of a miserly old man.  This book is highly enjoyable to read and we can learn many lessons from it.  It is great to read around Christmas, but I would recommend it any time of the year.

-Oliver H.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol–along with every variation–is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.