Wednesday, 24 December 2008

A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)

A man who hates Christmas is visited by three spirits who will show see Life in a different way.
Click on the image below to download the story.

Chapter Summaries copied from Bookrags


Chapter 1
Dickens begins his story by assuring his readers that Jacob Marley is, indeed, dead. He explains that without this assurance, the true miracle of the tale he is about to relate would not be fully understood. From there, he goes on to introduce Marley's former business partner Ebenezer Scrooge, a cold, bitter, miser; in the words of Dickens' narrator, Scrooge is a "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner." It is quickly apparent that Scrooge has shown this miserly persona to the world for years, and he likes it that way.
As the story begins, Scrooge is being assaulted by the Christmas season. First, to try to bring him some Christmas cheer is his nephew, whose invitation to Christmas dinner is met with a series of hearty "Bah Humbugs!" Next are two gentlemen.....

Chapter 2
Having fallen asleep after his ghostly visit with Marley, Scrooge wakes to the sound of the clock chiming twelve. He is perplexed how could it be only twelve when he went to bed sometime after two? Then he recollects that Marley's ghost told him his first spirit would visit him when the clock struck one. He vows to stay awake until that time passes to disprove the silly notion of the ghost, and yet, as the clock chimes once, his bed curtains are parted.
Scrooge's first spirit visitor identifies itself as the Ghost of Christmas Past. After much discussion, the Ghost takes Scrooge back in time to a holiday season long forgotten. Here, Scrooge sees himself as a very young boy, left alone at school during Christmas when all of his friends are joyfully.....

Chapter 3
After his encounter with the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge is once again asleep. As Chapter 3 opens, Scrooge wakes himself up with a particularly loud snore. He's ready this time for a ghostly visitor, even opening his bed curtains so as to be prepared for whatever appears. His preparations, however, are all for nothing, because when the clock strikes one, no apparition appears. Instead, Scrooge finds himself bathed in a mysterious light.
Once recovered from NOT seeing a spirit, Scrooge determines that the source of the strange light seems to reside in the room connected to his. He discovers in this adjoining room that the room itself has been transformed onto a holiday wonderland, and that it is indeed occupied by the second spirit, who identifies himself as the Ghost of Christmas Present......

Chapter 4
Unlike the two Ghosts that precede it, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come does not speak; in fact, it is Scrooge himself who says aloud who this spirit is. The spirit, for its part, does nothing but point one outstretched hand to lead the way, and yet, for some reason, this Ghost fills Scrooge with more fear and foreboding than any of the past spirits he has seen.
The first stop for Scrooge and this third spirit is the city street. Here, they listen in on the conversation of a group of gentlemen who seem to be discussing the death of someone that they did not care for. As he moves on from this group, Scrooge overhears a group of wealthy businessmen whom he had always tried to make a favorable impression on.....

Chapter 5
In this last chapter, Scrooge wholeheartedly joins the land of the living. He promises to "live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" and begins his day by shocking a young boy outside his window with a request for him to take Scrooge's money and buy the prize turkey. He has this turkey sent anonymously to the Cratchits. Then, meeting one of the men he had refused a donation to on the previous day, he makes a generous donation for both the present and the past. Finally, he arrives at the home of Fred and enjoys dinner with his nephew's family and friends. Throughout his day, Scrooge marvels at the joy he experiences by interacting with the world around him.
The next day, he can scarcely wait for Bob Cratchit to arrive at.....


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