Lesson 2: Scrooge as He is Revealed during the Ghostly Experiences

Painting of a young Charles Dickens
Photo caption

1842 portrait of Charles Dickens.

<p>By Francis Alexander (1800–1880) [Public domain], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AFrancis_Alexander_-_Charles_Dickens_1842.jpeg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>.</p>

As students read the entirety of A Christmas Carol, they will undoubtedly note that the novel is organized around the visits of the ghosts promised by Marley. The apparitions all focus on what Scrooge himself lacks—family, love, companionship, good will, happiness regardless of wealth; his responses illuminate much about his character. While Dickens through the narrator makes many direct statements about the protagonist, the text also enables readers to infer insights that make it clear that Scrooge is not a flat caricature of a miser but a character of some complexity. (CCSS RL8.1).

In stave 2, the Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge on a journey through the past, including an unhappy childhood and a failed romance. In stave 3, the Ghost of Christmas Present leads Scrooge on a journey through various scenes of the present, most notably and lengthily, celebrations at the homes of the Cratchits and of the nephew and his wife. Stave 4 features the Ghost of Christmas Future and presents a dire possibility for Scrooge. Clips from movies scenes of the ghostly visitations can be very useful as a preliminary activity to help students to visualize events in the story.

This lesson is part of an EDSITEment curriculum unit about A Christmas Carol which includes background notes and a summative unit assessment along with lesson extenders.

Guiding Questions

No guiding questions provided.

Learning Objectives

Describe Scrooge’s experiences during his encounters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

Identify ways that Dickens used both direct and indirect characterization to illuminate Ebenezer Scrooge.