Tuesday, January 7, 2014


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a novel divided into 5 staves. The first stave takes place on a Christmas Eve and begins by stating that Jacob Marley is dead. Marley’s business partner, Scrooge who is still alive now runs the business. Scrooge has no friends and no happiness, apart from the thought of money. He is a very greedy person. Scrooge refuses to get coals in order to heat the office because he doesn't want to spend his money. At work Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, suddenly arrives to wish his uncle a merry Christmas and to invite him to Christmas dinner with his wife but scrooge laughs and refuses. Scrooge doesn't believe in Christmas. As Fred departs, two more men arrive, collecting money for charity, hoping Scrooge may help them with some charity, but are turned down and are told that the poor should go to a workhouse, jail or just die. His only employee, Bob Cratchit requests a day off on Christmas in order to spend it with his family but scrooge complains about Bob's wish to take a day off for the holiday and says "What good is Christmas... that it should shut down business?". At the end scrooge agrees in condition that bob will arrive to work early the following morning. Finally, the day is done, and Scrooge goes home. As he tries to enter his house, his doorknocker turns into a ghostly image of Jacob Marley’s face. Scrooge was only mildly scared while he walks up the stairs. He checks around the house, rushes to his room and locks the door behind him. Scrooge hears the bells starting to ring and footsteps thumping up the stairs. Suddenly the ghostly image of Jacob Marley bursts through the door weighed down with chains welded of cash boxes, keys, ledgers, deeds, and steel money purses. Jacob came to inform scrooge that three spirits would visit him. The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. Jacob has also come to warn Scrooge that his burden in death will be even greater than his if he doesn't change his miserly ways, and realizes his errors. The ghost leaves through the window and Scrooge goes to sleep.

One would think by looking at the title of this story “A Christmas Carol” that this story would start with a happy festive spirit but it starts with just the opposite with greed and empathy against Christmas spirit. The story starts with the concept of death stating “Marley was dead to begin with” which is usually not the case in most stories to start off with something bad especially in such a story that is supposed to be about a happy festive. Marley symbolizes the dark side of the story. He is full of negativity, cheap and greedy. Being that way is the opposite behavior in which a person is supposed to behave, specially that during holidays a person is supposed to be generous and kind towards other people. The ghosts are the part that draws the reader’s attention. It causes people to run out of reality and make them scared. The combination of both death and the ghosts creates a feeling of suspense. This connects to king’s thesis that were crazy and horror helps relieve tension. How does king’s thesis relate to the novel? For some people who are mentally ill the death, negativity and the ghosts in the story is some kind of a relief. However from the point of view of healthy people the ghosts are something positive. since it is trying to make Marley realize the errors in his way through the use of fear and by showing him what happens to people like him.


  1. I like your interpretation of the first stave but one thing sounds a little fuzzy to me. You said "Marley symbolizes the dark side of the story." I think that he is trying to make this story into a positive note by trying to help his ex coworker. It's Strooge that so far makes this story dark by him not liking Christmas and being cheap, even when it has to do with a person being comfortable.

  2. I like your summary as but I must agree with Seth that "Marley symbolizes the dark side of the story" sounds funny. In the story when Scrooge sees his face on knocker it says "It was not impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it". Marley must appear as creepy ghost in order to scare Scrooge into believing he is real. Marley wants to be a good a friend and save him from the same fate he has.

  3. My bad i made a mistake i meant that scrooge symbolizes the dark side of the story

  4. Good comments here!

    And not a bad reading of the Stave, Shirel!