A Christmas Carol Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his dead business partner one night. Reprimanded for being a cruel man, he is told that he will be visited by three ghosts during the night. Through the ghosts, Ebenezer is forced to look at both his past, his present, and his future. In the past, he sees himself as a lonely boy and then as a young man employed by a kind and giving man. Nevertheless, Ebenezer has grand ambitions, something that his fiancee recognizes. She offers to relieve him of the engagement, since she cannot make him happy, and Ebenezer agrees. The older Ebenezer, watching unseen with the ghost, is distraught, and the ghost removes him from the scene. The second ghost takes Ebenezer to the present home of Bob Cratchit, Ebenezer's employee. The home is very poor, but in the home Ebenzer sees that the youngest boy thinks nicely of him, even though the rest of the family sees the cruelty of Bob Cratchit's employer.
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Ebenezer and the ghost travel unseen to the home of Ebenezer's nephew, where all the festivities are taking place and where the nephew speaks of his uncle. The third ghost takes Ebenzer to a grave which Ebenezer is horrified to learn is his own. He learns that he has no friends and that his death is marked by few tears. He also sees that the youngest child of Bob Cratchit - the only one who had truly kind words to say about Ebenzer - dies as a young child.

Ebenezer finds himself again in his bed. He wakens and demands of a passing boy what day it is. Ebenezer finds that he has been with the ghosts only one night and immediately begins to become a more loving man, one who is kind to his employer and one who is generous to all.
The review of this Book prepared by A. Antonow

Ebenezer Scrooge is a hard-heartened old businessman who hates Christmas and often acts like he hates his fellow men as well, or at least does not care for them. He is stern and demanding with his underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit, barely agreeing to let him have a day off on Christmas; he is not kind to his nephew Fred. When Fred comes to wish Scrooge a merry Christmas and invite him over for a Christmas dinner party, Scrooge ridicules him and refuses to come.

That night Ebenezer Scrooge has an unexpected visitor, and an unusual one, too – the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Jacob, who was very much like Scrooge in his life, cold and uncaring, is now miserable because of it. He wears a heavy chain that he says he had forged in life when he was thinking only about making money instead of helping those around him. Jacob warns that Scrooge is heading in the same direction. He tells Scrooge that in order to give him a chance to escape such a fate he will be visited by three spirits.

The first Spirit is the Ghost of Christmas Past. He takes Scrooge on a journey to his childhood, showing him what a lonely boy he was, abandoned in a boarding school when all other children went home for Christmas. He shows him his now dead sister, Fan, to whom Scrooge was very attached. Then Scrooge gets to see the lady he loved but never married because he thought making a career was more important. Scrooge is very touched by these visions; his transformation begins.

The review of this Book prepared by Laura Southcombe

The main character, Ebeneezer Scrooge, is a cold-hearted businessman with too much money. He once had a business partner, Jacob Marley, who helped him gain his wealth, but Jacob died. One night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Marley who tell his him he must change his evil ways before it is too late. Marley warns him that three spirits, the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, will visit him. After Scrooge has been visited by these spirits, he makes his final decision on how he will live the rest of his life--either as the same mean, old miser, or as a kind-hearted, generous man.
The review of this Book prepared by Megan E. Davis

“Bah Humbug!” exclaims Scrooge, the main character, who is a bitter businessman. Scrooge is wished a merry Christmas by his nephew, and the unsympathetic Scrooge's response is “Bah Humbug!” Following this, his previous partner in business Jacob Marley, who has been deceased for seven years, returns as a ghostly body. Marley is there to notify him that three ghosts will come visit him in the next three days. Initially, Scrooge does not accept this as true, but then the first ghost appears the next night, the ghost of Christmas Past. This ghost transports him back to the past and begins to get through the rough layer of Scrooge's bitter emotions. Two additional ghosts, the ghost of Christmas Present and the ghost of Christmas Yet to come, also help in changing Scrooge's ways. This story takes place in a grimy district in London. This Charles Dickens classic story about ghosts, ruthlessness, and the meaning of Christmas is a well-written book. It is written clearly and is a great book for the age groups of 13 and up. This book shows the struggle of an old insensitive man taken on a voyage of his life; the voyage is in order to save him from a dreary after life. Though written a long time ago, people still continue to purchase this book, because its classical tone interests people constantly. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, would make a great gift for the holidays.
The review of this Book prepared by Mike Tactay

Scrooge was the miserly owner of a successful countinghouse. His clerk Bob Cratchit shivered in the cold, and only grudgingly did Scrooge let him have a day off all year: Christmas, which meant nothing to Scrooge. Marley, his partner seven years dead, appeared as a ghost to Scrooge and told him that he, Marley, had never done any good for humankind so he was doomed to constant ghostly travel. He hinted the same fate could be in store for Scrooge but that he would be visited by three spirits -- the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come -- who would show him the way to change. A ghost story, moral lesson, and social commentary, this is one of Dickens' best known and loved tales, made into scores of films, and enacted by dozens of theater companies every Christmas -- so familiar it is easy to disdain as overly sentimental parable or take for granted. As the portrait of the psychological journey of a lonely old man, however, it has staying power.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of A Christmas Carol

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   learning to be more sensitive Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   London    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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