Monday, January 27, 2014

Five Staves and Annotations of A Christmas Carol

Stave 1

'' I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you ?"

Annotation 1:

Before Marley died he was just like Scrooge once. He would just collect a ton of money from people and selfishly not use it to help other people or even spend it on himself. He probably didn't know the outcome would end up with him in chains trapped for all eternity, but now he realizes that he did this to himself and he wants to warn Scrooge to change his ways so he doesn't make the same mistake. The last question he asked "Is it's pattern strange to you?" I think he was hinting to Scrooge that he's going to share the same fate and wants to know if he even realizes it.

Stave 2

The Spirit dropped beneath it, so that the extinguisher covered its whole form ; but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force, he could not hide the light: which streamed from under it, in an unbroken flood upon the ground.

Annotation 2:

Scrooge failed to dim the light and make it disappear completely. After giving up he just fell into a deep sleep. The extinguisher cap covered the spirit's body and light continued to come out of the bottom. What happened to the spirit? It just disappeared before he woke up? The spirit said "My time grows short" but doesn't disappear when Scrooge wants him to. But it doesn't explain what happens when Scrooge gives up and goes to sleep.

Stave 3

"Mr. Scrooge!" said Bob; "I'll give you Mr. Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast!" "The Founder of the Feast indeed!" cried Mrs. Cratchit, reddening. "I wish I had him here. I 'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it."

Annotation 3:

Bob was toasting Scrooge saying that he's the reason that they have a dinner on the table for Christmas and Bob's wife is basically saying why are you thanking the man and being so grateful. Despite having a dying son, only one day out of the whole year to take off while recieving pay, and having a low salary Bob is still thankful that he is employed by Scrooge. The wife is not so grateful and wants to give Scrooge a piece of her mind but she doesn't know that Scrooge is right there watching and taking in what they are saying. That's why after Scrooge is changed, he decides to give them the biggest turkey ever and increases Bob's salary just so that his son doesn't die.

Stave 4

"Spirit!" he cried, tight clutching at its robe, "hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope?" For the first time the hand appeared to shake. "Good Spirit," he pursued, as down upon the ground he fe ll before it: "Y our nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!"

Annotation 4:

Scrooge sees that nobody cares for him after he is gone and the only people that come to see him are the people that just steal his stuff after he's dead. They even steal the clothes he's wearing when he's put to rest. Then when he realizes that he's the one that was dead in the bed having his stuff stolen from him, he asks the spirit why he's being shown his death if there's nothing he can do about it. He thinks the spirit is just being sick and demented to torture him before he dies when really he is saying that's his fate if he doesn't change his ways. Then Scrooge realizes he doesn't want that as his fate and becomes nice in the end.

Stave 5

"They are not torn down," cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms, "they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here: I am here: the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will!"

Annotation 5:

Scrooge wakes up and realizes that he's not dead and all of his possessions are still there. To him it was like a dream that he knows was real. He's saying that the vision that he did see can disappear because he's going to change himself so that will never happen in the future. He knows they will be dispelled because he knows what he has to do to change his fate and that's just to be generous and nice.


  1. Stave 1 : I took Marley's question to Scrooge as a hint of his fate also. Though Marley didn't have the opportunity to be visited by 3 spirits before his death, I believe his journey after death has taught him to help others. What better person to help but his old business partner Scrooge.

  2. Great explanations of some tricky quotes here!