What is a short summary of Charles Dickens' novella?


Quick Answer

Charles Dickens' novella "A Christmas Carol" follows the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from greedy, mercenary miser to a joyful soul who knows the value of charity. The story occurs during a single Christmas Eve night as he is visited by three ghosts. "A Christmas Carol" was first published in 1843.

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Full Answer

The story begins by introducing Scrooge, a financier, and his clerk,Bob Cratchit at work. Upon returning home after a long day of work, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley, who admonishes him for his selfish ways and tells him he will be visited by three ghosts during the course of the night.

As Marley's ghost predicted, Scrooge is visited first by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who leads him through the happy and sad events of his life, including the death of a sister and lost love. He is next visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, who shows him the life of poverty led by the Cratchit family and their sick son, Tiny Tim.

At midnight, the ghost vanishes and is replaced by a specter, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who shows Scrooge life in the future if he continues as he has. This vision includes the death of Tiny Tim and his own lonely death and funeral. Inspired by what he has been shown, Scrooge transforms into a warm-hearted, generous man who treats the people in his life fairly. He raises Cratchit's salary and saves Tiny Tim's life.

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