A Christmas Carol: Introduction• a familiar, timeless character• ghosts and apparitions• time travel This classic holiday tale has it all.
A Christmas Carol: IntroductionOn a cold and foggy Christmas Eve sometime inthe middle 1800s, Ebenezer Scrooge sits workingin his office in London.
A Christmas Carol: IntroductionHis clerk toils—seemingly endlessly—with hardlyany fire to keep him warm. Scrooge does not care.
A Christmas Carol: IntroductionTwo gentlemen come by to ask for donations forthe poor. Scrooge refuses.
A Christmas Carol: IntroductionScrooge’s cheerful nephew Fred stops in to invitehis uncle to Christmas dinner. Scrooge grumpily declines.
A Christmas Carol: Introduction Mr. Scrooge does not know that when he gets home that night, he will have some different visitors—visitors he may not be able to ignore so easily.
A Christmas Carol: IntroductionOne by one, four ghosts appear to Scrooge. They’ve come to try to convince him to become a nicer person.
A Christmas Carol: IntroductionThe ghosts will show Scroogethe past he is forgetting, the present he is missing, and the future he is shaping.But will their revelations get through to Scrooge?Will he change his ways?
A Christmas Carol: Background In Victorian England, poor people usually did not get much help.Even young children, sick people, and the elderlywent without assistance from the government orcharities.
A Christmas Carol: BackgroundIf you were a poor, out-of-work Londoner duringthis time, these were your options: • beg on the street • go to a workhouse • be thrown into prison
A Christmas Carol: BackgroundWorkhouses were institutions where people wereput to work in exchange for food and shelter.People in workhouses often • had little or no heat • used rags for blankets • did not get nearly enough food • were severely overworked and even beaten
A Christmas Carol: BackgroundAs a young man, Charles Dickens witnessed adecline in the traditional celebration of Christmasin England. Because of the Industrial Revolution, many employers wouldn’t even give their employees Christmas Day off.
A Christmas Carol: BackgroundThe Industrial Revolution was a time of change inEurope marked by • the introduction of power-driven machinery • the growth of factories • a huge increase in the production of goods • a shift from a rural, agricultural society to a more urban one
A Christmas Carol: Background A Christmas Carol, along with several other Christmas books by Dickens, helped revive the holiday customs.Some people even started calling Dickens “TheMan Who Discovered Christmas.”
A Christmas Carol: BackgroundScrooge’s story brought about other changes too.For example, because of the book,• a home for disabled children was started• a factory owner began closing his factory every Christmas and giving turkeys to of all his employees
A Christmas Carol: BackgroundCharles Dickens had experienced poverty as achild, and he was very concerned about the poorpeople of England. He raised money to help people in need by reading A Christmas Carol at charity events.
A Christmas Carol: Discussion StartersDiscuss (1)Dickens believed that human beings were largelyresponsible for society’s ills, such as poverty,hunger, and suffering.• How much responsibility does each individual have to help others in need?• How can one person help make the world a better place?
A Christmas Carol: Discussion StartersDiscuss (2)• Do you believe that any given person can significantly change the way that he or she sees the world and treats others?• What does it take to make people change their ways?• If you were shown your past, present, and future in one night, how do you think you would change?