A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

Synopsis

This synopsis will contain spoilers!

Ebenezer Scrooge does not care that it is Christmas Eve, and is very annoyed that he must give his employee the day off for Christmas. When his nephew comes to invite him to Christmas dinner, he brushes off the invitation with a "Bah! Humbug!" He also ignores a plea for a donation to help the poor and imprisoned. Scrooge does not care for Christmas – making money is his only concern.

That night he sees the face of his dead partner – Jacob Marley – in the knocker at his home. Soon after, he is visited by the ghost of Marley, who carries the weight of his greedy life in the form of heavy chains. He warns Scrooge that if he continues down his current path he will spend eternity just like Marley – wishing he could help those in need but now unable to.

Scrooge is visited by three spirits, the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. The past shows him what he used to be like – full of joy and interested in more than just making more money. In particular, he is shown the woman he nearly married, before his obsession with money began. Present shows him his nephew with his friends and wife, playing games together and having a generally wonderful time. Scrooge has fun simply watching them, though his spirit presence cannot interact with them. Scrooge also sees his employee’s family and their happy, if meager, Christmas as well as Tiny Tim, who is sick but happy.

Future shows Scrooge at his own grave, with no one there to care for him, and Tiny Tim dead. Scrooge wakes after the visions to find it is only now Christmas Day. He leaves the house and finds his nephew, spending the day with family and friends, generally enjoying himself. He sends a great turkey to his employee. The next day, he begins to treat his employee better, gives him a raise, and begins helping Tiny Tim, ensuring he gets the care needed to prevent his death.

Reviews

A Christmas Carol - Digital
While not as good as other books by Dickens, it's prevalence in modern culture makes this required reading. - Jan. 6, 2012

Quotes

"Marley was dead: to begin with."

Charles Dickens the First Line of A Christmas Carol

"And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!"

Charles Dickens the Last Line of in A Christmas Carol

"'Why do you doubt your senses?'
'Because,' said Scrooge, 'a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!'"

Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol

"[F]or it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it, and would unquestionably have done it."

Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol

Originally Published Dec. 17, 1843

Digital edition:

110 pages - Nov. 22, 2011

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