A Christmas Carol - Characters

1

Read the extract from A Christmas Carol and answer questions 1-3 below.

“A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!” cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach. “Bah!” said Scrooge, “Humbug!”

He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Scrooge’s, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again. “Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?” “I do,” said Scrooge. “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”

“Come, then,” returned the nephew gaily. “What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”

What do we learn about Scrooge's attitude to Christmas?

2

How does Scrooge's nephew compare to his uncle?

3

How does Dickens use language patterns to highlight their contrasting characters?

4

Read this extract from A Christmas Carol and answer questions 4-6 below.

“Mr. Scrooge it was. I passed his office window; and as it was not shut up, and he had a candle inside, I could scarcely help seeing him. His partner lies upon the point of death, I hear; and there he sat alone. Quite alone in the world, I do believe.”

“Spirit!” said Scrooge in a broken voice, “remove me from this place.” “I told you these were shadows of the things that have been,” said the Ghost. “That they are what they are, do not blame me!” “Remove me!” Scrooge exclaimed, “I cannot bear it!” He turned upon the Ghost, and seeing that it looked upon him with a face, in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him, wrestled with it. “Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!”

Why is Scrooge so upset in this extract?

5

How does Dickens use language to show that Scrooge is upset?

6

What is strange about this ghost?

7

Read this extract from A Christmas Carol then answer questions 7-10 below.

At last the dinner was all done, the cloth was cleared, the hearth swept, and the fire made up. The compound in the jug being tasted, and considered perfect, apples and oranges were put upon the table, and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth, in what Bob Cratchit called a circle, meaning half a one; and at Bob Cratchit’s elbow stood the family display of glass. Two tumblers, and a custard-cup without a handle.

These held the hot stuff from the jug, however, as well as golden goblets would have done; and Bob served it out with beaming looks, while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. Then Bob proposed: “A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us!” Which all the family re-echoed. “God bless us every one!” said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

What do we learn about the Cratchit family from their possessions?

8

How is the Cratchit family presented?

9

How does Dickens show that Tiny Tim is an important character?

10

Which words best describes Bob Cratchit?