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Discussion Archives > December 2018: A Christmas Carol

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message 1: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2950 comments Mod
Discussion stars here for A Christmas Carol

here are some discussion questions to get this going!

1. How many times have you read this? Or is it your first time?
2. This is a very short book, and not the only Christmas story that Dickens wrote. Why do you think that it and its message endured and became such a part of English-speaking culture?
3. Did you have a favorite part? What image or line or scene sticks with you the most, if one does?
4. How would you characterize Bob Cratchit’s attitude toward Scrooge? Scrooge’s attitude toward Cratchit? Besides literal heat, what might be the symbolism of the tiny coal fire that Cratchit has in the office?
5. Why does Scrooge say that Fred should not be happy? What does this reveal about Scrooge’s priorities?
6. What is the significance or symbolism of the fact that bells announce Marley’s ghost?
7. Why is the Ghost of Christmas Past young, small, cloaked in white and shining bright? What does he mean when he says that Scrooge made his cap and has forced him to wear it?
8. What has Marley’s ghost been doing since his death?
9. What is Scrooge’s initial attitude toward the spirit?
10. What is different about Scrooge when he says “Remember it? I could walk it with a blindfold?”
11. How does Scrooge’s relationship with his sister Fan play into the story?
12. What does the name Fezziweg suggest? When the spirit challenges Scrooge by asking if Fezziweg truly deserves such high praise for such a little party, how does Scrooge respond? How might Scrooge’s claim that Fezziweg “had the power to make us happy and to make us unhappy” reflect upon Scrooge himself?
13. How does Scrooge try to extinguish the light of the first spirit? Does he succeed? What is the light a symbol of?
14. How is what Scrooge is thinking as he lies in bed waiting to see if the spirit appears different from the previous chapter? How has Scrooge’s attitude toward his being escorted by a ghost changed?
15. How is Scrooge affected by seeing the Cratchit family?
16. What is the point of the visits with the Ghost of Christmas Present to the lighthouse and the ship?
17. Why does Fred refuse to speak against Scrooge? How does his wife differ on this matter? Fred and his wife and Bob and his wife have different views on Scrooge. What does this say about each of them?
18. What does the Ghost of Christmas Present mean when it says the boy and the girl under his robes, Ignorance and Want, are “Man’s”?
19. How does Scrooge feel about the spirit of Christmas yet to come?
20. What is the lesson Scrooge learns when the ghost shows him the Cratchit family after Tim’s death? Why is this lesson needed when Scrooge’s attitude has already changed so much?
21. Is Scrooge’s transformation believable?


message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane | 53 comments Since I finished it today I tried some questions. The others were a little too hard for me, maybe someone can help out here :)

1. How many times have you read this? Or is it your first time?
It's my first time and I'm glad I finally did it!
2. This is a very short book, and not the only Christmas story that Dickens wrote. Why do you think that it and its message endured and became such a part of English-speaking culture?
I think the story is just really good. It is great to teach children compassion and to remind yourself what is important in life. This makes it a timeless classic.
3. Did you have a favorite part? What image or line or scene sticks with you the most, if one does?
I liked the second ghost and how the family of tiny tim is holding together and really appreciate even the little things that they have. I also like the ending, I wish we saw more of the "good" Scrooge.
4. How would you characterize Bob Cratchit’s attitude toward Scrooge? Scrooge’s attitude toward Cratchit? Besides literal heat, what might be the symbolism of the tiny coal fire that Cratchit has in the office?
Bob seems to be a really good man, since he is still grateful to Scrooge because of his job (even though its a lousy one). The coal could maybe symbolize Bob trying to bring some "warmth"(love) into the house, while Scrooge keeps it cold to keep out the love.
5. Why does Scrooge say that Fred should not be happy? What does this reveal about Scrooge’s priorities?
Since Scrooge has no love in his life the only thing worth living for him is to make money. So his top priority is to have money and spend as little as possible. Btw I really liked Freds comeback here, that Scrooge has money and is still not happy lol.
21. Is Scrooge’s transformation believable?
Good question, I am not sure if it is. Since maybe he was just afraid of what the future ghost showed him and of his own death. So I'm not sure if he did it because of his "good heart" or because he was afraid of his own death.


message 3: by Sonya (new)

Sonya marie madden | 165 comments I'm still waiting on my library copy


message 4: by Joy (new)

Joy | 110 comments I love this book. I just watched BBC's A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong last night. Brilliant.


message 5: by Anna (new)

Anna | 22 comments It was the second time I read A Christmas Carol but I guess it won't be the last time. I think the story is timeless as it faces subjects and values that are still important today. The basic plot is compelling and makes the change of Scrooge visible.
I like especially the first ghost as he touches Scrooge so much that he shows some inner mouvement in general.
I don't know if Scrooge's transformation is believable, on the one hand people can change very fast but on the other hand, some changes need a lot of time. But I want to believe in the good as it's a christmas story ;-)


message 6: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (last edited Dec 16, 2018 06:32PM) (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2950 comments Mod
I feel like it is a classic for a lot of us! Anna, I am sort of with you on the transformation being believable or not. I go back and forth with the same reasons - but for some reason always end up with believable because I feel like it is what we WANT him to be.

Ugh such a classic.

Ive watched a few renditions of this one but honestly - the classic disney one always gets me.


message 7: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyc89) | 135 comments I finished my reread a few days ago. I listened to the audio narrated by Tim Curry which is amazing. A friend told me that he grew up listening to Sir Patrick Stewart narrate, so that is a must for next year.

Yesterday we watched most of Scrooged starring Bill Murray which is my favorite film version of the book.

My favorite part of the book is all the descriptions of what Christmas was like in the 19th Century.


message 8: by Rachel Jorquera , Moderator (new)

Rachel Jorquera  (racheljorquera) | 2950 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "I finished my reread a few days ago. I listened to the audio narrated by Tim Curry which is amazing. A friend told me that he grew up listening to Sir Patrick Stewart narrate, so that is a must for..."

I wanted to do the Tim Curry version because i would only assume the best from that man!!!!


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