Christmas Carol Project

Stave Summaries

Stave 1

In Stave 1 we meet Ebenezer Scrooge, Fred, Bob Cratchit, and Jacob Marley's ghost:

  • Ebenezer Scrooge: greedy and selfish old man who is unhappy and has no compassion for others.
  • Fred: Ebenezer's nephew who is joyful and kind. He is a young man and he seeks peace with Ebenezer.
  • Bob Cratchit: Ebenezer's employee who is a submissive and obedient man. He is poor but he is also happy.
  • Jacob Marley's ghost: a disfigured spirit that has a bandage around his head that holds his jaw, several chains that hang off of him, and there are money chains that hang off of him. He also has debt papers attached to his person. This spirit is transparent and scary to Scrooge.
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Stave 2

  • The Ghost of Christmas Past was a child-like figure with long white hair. It had long muscular limbs and a white tunic, wrapped with flowers and with a belt around it. The spirit held a holly branch in its hand, and under its other arm there was an extinguisher cap. The most prominent feature must have been the light coming from the spirit's brow; this light made everything visible.
  • The spirit took Scrooge to the place where he lived as a boy, and then he was taken to the school house he attended. There, Scrooge saw himself as a lonely boy daydreaming about the stories he had read. Time passed and Scrooge saw himself as an older boy still in the school house. His sister had come to him and invited him back home. He sees himself leave the school house. Then they speed to the time of Scrooge's apprenticeship with Fezziwig. He witnesses the warm Christmas party with Fezziwig's family and friends. Scrooge then sees himself with his fiancé. His fiancé is breaking the engagement because of Scrooge's apparent greed. They then witness Belle, Scrooge's past fiancé, greet her husband and they talk about Scrooge and his lonely state. After that Scrooge struggles with the spirit and eventually removes it from his presence.
  • This spirit took Scrooge and showed him these things in order to show him the events and experiences that made him so cold-hearted and selfish. It wanted to show him that he was a relatively happy child until greed and self-conceit consumed him.
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Stave 3

  • The Ghost of Christmas Present is a rather large spirit, a Giant, Dickens says. This spirit had a glowing torch in his hand as well. The spirit was clothed in a large green robe that was bordered with white fur. It was crowned with a holly wreath and sat upon a throne of food.
  • The spirit took Scrooge to the streets of London first and showed him the people's merriment despite their needs. The spirit bestowed good cheer to those people who passed by. Then Scrooge was taken to Bob Cratchit's home, where he witnessed the family enjoying a somewhat meager meal and the condition of Tiny Tim. He saw them bless Scrooge himself and the cheerfulness of the poor family. Scrooge asked if Tiny Tim would live till next year and the spirit answered no. The spirit then showed Scrooge to the miners, lighthouse workers, and the sailors, all of which were enjoying the holiday. Scrooge then was shown the party of his nephew and enjoyed himself there, taking pleasure in the games they played. Last of all, Scrooge was shown the children Ignorance and Want that were under the spirit's robe. He was shown that Ignorance would become Doom if unchecked.
  • The spirit showed Scrooge these visions because he was trying to show him the state of want many people are in and how they are still joyful. He wanted Scrooge to understand that his ignorance, purposeful ignorance that is, will inevitably turn into his own doom if he doesn't do anything about it. Scrooge is taught by these visions what people think of him and that people need the kind of help he can administer to them.
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Stave 4

  • The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a very dark, hooded figure whom does not speak a word and only points with a white hand. This figure symbolizes the mystery and dread of the future.
  • The spirit first shows Scrooge some businessmen speaking of a man's death. These businessmen seem to be indifferent to the man's death. Then Scrooge witnesses the discourse of two upper-class men who mention briefly the death of the man. Then Scrooge witnesses the items of the dead man being sold in the black-market and the lack of respect for this man's death. He then is taken to the place where the dead man is laid and the spirit prompts him to uncover the face and reveal the man, but Scrooge refuses and begs to see the emotion linked with the death. Scrooge is then taken to the home of some people who owed a debt to the dead man and they were happy about the man's death. Scrooge then witnesses the reception of Tiny Tim's death, at which the Cratchit family mourns and so does Fred. Scrooge then desires to know the dead man and the spirit takes him to the church yard, at which Scrooge sees a gravestone with his name on it. Scrooge weeps bitterly at this and begs the spirit to tell him if the death is inevitable or if it can be altered.
  • The spirit shows Scrooge these things in order to show Scrooge the consequences of his actions. He wanted Scrooge to see that his present selfishness and cynicalness has an effect on his life. He wanted to show Scrooge what people really thought of him and how they received his death.
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Stave 5

  • Scrooge awakens from his visit with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and he is alive and well. He is ecstatic and has a high level of anxiety; he runs around the room remembering things from his visions and weeps and laughs at the same time. He goes to the window and finds out it is Christmas day from a boy on the street and he asks the boy to go and buy the prize turkey for him. He decides to give the turkey to the Cratchit family. He then goes out on the street and encounters the man who asked for a donation for the needy. Scrooge tells the man he will give a large sum of money for the needy and the man thanks him. Scrooge then goes to his nephew's house and eats dinner with them. In the end Scrooge turns out to be a joyful and selfless man.
  • The moral of the story is, to quote C.S. Lewis, to "think of yourself less." Scrooge spent too much of his time thinking of himself and fulfilling his own passions and he left off the very important part about "each esteeming one another better than himself." The moral of the story I think is that we must "crucify the flesh with its passions and desires" and clothe ourselves with joyful selflessness; to help others and to do good every chance you get. Dickens wanted to get across that generosity does not just help others but it helps you as well, and the way it helps you is if you do it in love and joy.
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