A Christmas Carol
Christmas Carol explores themes of greed, the misery of the poor, and it also tells a tale of redemption and repentance.
The story revolves around the life one extremely wealthy and utterly selfish miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. He sits in his room, counting his money, while Bob Cratchit, his clerk, shivers in a cold unheated room. Scrooge does not believe in wasting his money on coal to heat the house.
When his nephew Fred visits him and invites him to his Christmas party and two gentlemen call on him to ask him to contribute to a charity, he dismisses them all contemptuously, terming it all ‘humbug’.
Later that night, while alone in his house, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley tells him that he has been condemned to wander around the world, in chains, for his selfish and greedy acts in life. He tells Scrooge that he wants to help him avoid such a fate.
Marley tells Scrooge that he will receive three visitors during the course of the night, and hopes he learns the lesson the night’s experience is intended to convey. Then, the ghost of Marley disappears and Scrooge falls asleep.
During the night, Scrooge is visited in his dream by three spirits - the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. They take him to visit his past, present and future.
Scrooge relives his life when the spirit of Christmas Past takes him through his childhood and youth, when he was innocent and happy, and later, when he became greedy and obsessed with money. He loses the love of the woman he was engaged to, because she could not bear the man he had become.
Leaving Scrooge with a feeling of regret, it prepares him for the next stage, the visit from the spirit of Christmas Present. This spirit takes him to see Christmas celebrations across the town, especially in the house of his employee Cratchit.
Then, the spirit of Christmas Yet To Come takes Scrooge to give him a view of his own wretched future if he continues on his present selfish path. All these weird experiences leave a deep impression on the old man.
Christmas Carol is so enduringly popular, the book has never been out of print since its first publication. It has been adapted, many times over, on the stage, in movies, in cartoons, and in various other adaptations of the story.