A Christmas Carol - Summary

Charles Dickens has grown weary of the way wealthy people in Britain are treating poor people.  He sees a side of London - a darker, harsher side - which he wants to expose.

It is October of 1843, and widespread slum areas are now part of the city which Dickens loves.  For poor people, the average age of death is appalling.  How can it be that 22 years is all a poor person can expect to live?

At first, Dickens plans to write "An appeal to the People of England, on behalf of the Poor Man's Child."  But ... what kind of impact would that have?  Instead of "an appeal," Dickens imagines a story.

Walking through the streets of London, at night, Dickens thinks about his developing ideas.  Perhaps he'll create a character called "Ebenezer Scrooge."  Maybe that miserly old man once had a partner who was equally stingy.  Maybe he'll call that now-dead chap "Jacob Marley."

Scrooge and Marley value money above all else.  They have no love for anyone.  They care about accumulating wealth.  They have no plans to share their worldly gains with the poor.

Dickens wonders:  Is there an antidote to such selfish living?  Maybe the antidote could be the "Spirit of Christmas."

However ... in 1843 ... people in Britain do not celebrate Christmas in a commercial sense.  They aren't thinking about the less-fortunate among them.  So ... how could a story about the "Spirit of Christmas," and giving to those in need, make a difference to people who mostly don't have a sense of the "Spirit of Christmas?"

Dickens decides to invent three different "Spirits" - or "Ghosts" - who will teach Scrooge a few lessons.  He returns "Old Marley" to his former home, in the City of London, where he also pays a visit to its current resident (Ebenezer).  Then ... there's the Cratchit family, from the Camden district of London, where poor but respectable people live.

Working quickly, Dickens finishes his story by the end of November, just in time to publish it for Christmas that year.  Not only is the story popular, it actually changes the culture.

Step back in time to visit London as it existed during Dickens' days. See the slums which were part of the city then.  Learn about the meaning of some of Dicken's story references.  And ... hear a dramatization of the story itself, in abridged format.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5184stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 22, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Dec 24, 2018

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"A Christmas Carol" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 22, 2013. Jul 20, 2019.
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