It is Christmas Eve, seven years since the death of Jacob Marley , the business partner and only friend of Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge is in his counting house, keeping a cruel monopoly on the coal supply and keeping his clerk Bob Cratchit in the cold. The next visit is from two gentlemen collecting for the poor, but Scrooge believes in keeping the poor in the workhouses and sends them away.
When Scrooge arrives home, he is greeted by a series of spooky apparitions. Scrooge refuses to believe his senses and hurries upstairs. But he is visited again, this time by the full-length spirit of Marley, bound in a huge, clanking chain.
He warns that Scrooge is headed for the same fate, an even worse one considering his horrible spirit. Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits on the next three nights.
Marley then disappears, and Scrooge falls into a deep sleep. When Scrooge wakes up, it is still dark, as if no time has passed.
He is greeted by the first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past , a candle-like apparition that is brightly glowing and reminds Scrooge of youth and age at the same time. Then, they see Scrooge as an apprentice with the Fezziwigs — it is a joyous time of parties and music. Scrooge is upset by this vision. The spirit is extinguished and Scrooge falls asleep. The next time Scrooge wakes, there is a warm light coming into the room and he finds the Ghost of Christmas Present , a gentle giant in a fur robe, sitting atop a feast of Christmas food.
Bob brings his crippled son Tiny Tim home and tells his wife that the poor lad is doing better.
He reveals two impoverished children sheltering under his robe, called Ignorance and Want and tells Scrooge to beware of Ignorance most of all.
The next night, the third and final spirit comes towards Scrooge, enrobed in a black cloak, so that all Scrooge can see is his eerily pointing bony hand. Scrooge is terrified but eager to learn the lessons of this ghost. He is led to the trading district, where businessmen are casually discussing the death of a miserly man.
A Christmas Carol
Scrooge is transported to a dark room, where he sees the corpse itself, covered with a cloth. Lastly, the spirit points Scrooge to a grave in a churchyard—the grave of the mysterious dead man—and Scrooge sees his own name engraved.
He is beside himself with fear and sadness, and desperately promises the spirit that he will keep Christmas in his heart from now on. But the spirit vanishes, leaving Scrooge in tears.
Scrooge wakes up and is overjoyed that he has the chance to change the future. The next day he gives Cratchit a raise, and over the ensuing years helps ensure that Tiny Tim not only survives but thrives and becomes known for his Christmas spirit.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Book Summary) - Minute Book Report
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A Christmas Carol Summary
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A Christmas Carol