Posted in Reading, Teaching

ENG 242: Still Stranger than Fiction

PART I

Part I of this blog post offers a look back at excerpts from some of the comments that you posted last week. Although I never would have chosen for us to communicate exclusively online as we are now, I am grateful for the opportunity to see your thoughts on the screen. And I hope that reading your classmates’ comments has been a comfort. I know it has been for me. If your gravatar isn’t on your blog, I encourage you to add it. It puts a human face beside your words.

From Crowson Roosa:

The past two weeks have definitely shifted my views of the novel. As Jeremy said, “being under quarantine has definitely caused me to become very cautious.” After being alone in isolation, I never really appreciated interacting with my classmates and friends until I could not see them anymore.

From: Joe Van Story:

I have learned to not look at everything at face value and to try to look deeper and try to find the good in what is happening. An example of this is the COVID-19 virus, while it is a tragedy it has brought unexpected joy in my life, such as spending more time with my family.

From Jenna Ramsey:

In regards to Del Toro’s remarks, he states how reading the book showed him “how deep, how life-changing, a monster parable could be–how it could function as art and how it could reach across distance and time to become a palliative to solitude and pain.” This also goes hand-in-hand with the virus. This virus is the ‘monster parable’ that has been life-changing to most everyone, in at least one way or another. While this virus has been ‘a monster parable,’ it could also be considered an ‘art’ of sorts in the way it has caused us to stop and think about what we truly need to be buying (if we truly need to run out to this store or that store), has caused us to spend more time at home with our families and rethink what we are doing with the time we have on our hands. It has also spread all over the world, affecting many people, leaving us to solitude/quarantine and caused pain to those who have had life-altering things happen due to the virus.

From Jacob Palmer:

As Caeley Arney mentioned in her comment, it is true that Victor Frankenstein hid himself from his creation in disgust. But we must not forget that the monster too isolated himself from society, intently watching over the DeLacey family from the safety of their hovel. Being deprived of the company of fellow creatures for such a long time, the monster took an uncharacteristic liking of this intriguing family, longing to be embraced by them and admitted into their ranks. It is in this time of isolation that we may really understand what the monster is feeling, and come to sympathize with him more so than before. One may come to recognize this desire to socialize to be unmistakably human. Thus, while the monster may be confined to the body of a monstrosity, it is evident that the feelings he expresses are none other than those of a human being. This raises questions as to what constitutes humanity and may challenge original notions over who the real monster is in this harrowing story.

Below I’ve included a works cited list as a model for citing comments on a blog post. Yes, there’s actually an MLA-style format for that, and there’s one for tweets as well. If you want to cite one of your classmates’ comments in your Victorian project, look to these entries as models. For more sample entries, see OWL’s page devoted to citing electronic sources.

Works Cited

Palmer, Jacob. Comment on “ENG 242: Stranger than Fiction.” Jane Lucas, 31 Mar. 2020, 11:56 a.m., https://janelucas.com/2020/03/31/eng-242-stranger-than-fiction/#comments. Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

Ramsey, Jenna. Comment on “ENG 242: Stranger than Fiction.” Jane Lucas, 31 Mar. 2020, 10:36 a.m., https://janelucas.com/2020/03/31/eng-242-stranger-than-fiction/#comments. Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

Roosa, Crowson. Comment on “ENG 242: Stranger than Fiction.” Jane Lucas, 31 Mar. 2020, 9:38 p.m., https://janelucas.com/2020/03/31/eng-242-stranger-than-fiction/#comments. Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

Van Story, Joe. Comment on “ENG 242: Stranger than Fiction.” Jane Lucas, 31 Mar. 2020, 11:29 a.m., https://janelucas.com/2020/03/31/eng-242-stranger-than-fiction/#comments. Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.


PART II

As we begin our study of Victorian writers, observe how their fiction differs from the prose and poetry of the Romantics:

On the one hand romances were writings that turned, in their quest for settings conducive to supernatural happenings, to distant pasts, faraway exotic places, or both . . . . On the other hand romance also named a homegrown, native tradition of literature, made unfamiliar and alien by the passage of time.  (Lynch 18; emphasis added)

The Celtic ballad “The Dæmon-lover” exemplifies those two seemingly disparate accounts of the writing of the Romantic period; it features the supernatural, and its renewed popularity in the nineteenth century illustrates the revival of interest in older forms, “native tradition[s] . . . made unfamiliar and alien by the passage of time” (18).

Turner, J.M.W. Interior of Tintern Abbey (1794). / tate.org

We’ve also seen the Romantics’ renewed interest in medieval literature in Victor Frankenstein’s early account of his friend Henry Clerval: “He was deeply read in books of chivalry and romance. He composed heroic songs, and began to write many a tale of enchantment and knightly adventure (Shelley 33).

Much later in Frankenstein, Victor’s description of Henry elucidates another trait of the Romantic period, the adoration of nature: “The scenery of external nature, which others regard with only admiration, he [Henry] loved with ardour” (Shelley 139). That observation of Victor’s serves as an introduction to the verse that follows in Chapter 28, eight lines from William Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey,” the first-generation Romantic’s own recollection of his attachment to nature.

As a counterpoint, consider these descriptions of the Victorian age:

In the eighteenth century the pivotal city of Western civilization had been Paris; by the second half of the nineteenth century this center of influence had shifted to London, a city that expanded from about two million inhabitants when Victoria came to the throne to six and a half million at the time of her death. The rapid growth of London is one of the many indications of the most important development of the age: the shift from a way of life based on the ownership of land to a modern urban economy based on trade and manufacturing. (Robson 3; emphasis added)

Because Britain was the first country to become industrialized, it’s transformation was an especially painful one: it experienced a host of social and economic problems consequent to rapid and unregulated industrialization. Britain also experienced an enormous increase in wealth. (Robson 4)

Works Cited

Lynch, Deidre Shauna. Introduction: “The Romantic Period, 1785-1832.” The Norton Anthology of British Literature: The Romantic Period. 10th ed. Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor. W.W. Norton, 2018. pp. 3-27.

Robson, Catherine. Introduction: “The Victorian Age, 1830-1901.” The Norton Anthology of British Literature: The Victorian Age. 10th ed. Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor. W.W. Norton, 2018. pp. 3-27.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 1818, 1831. Introduction and Notes by Karen Karbeiner. Barnes and Noble, 2003.


PART III

Engraving by John Leech  (1843) / gutenberg.org, The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) / disney.com

One of the challenges of reading A Christmas Carol now is seeing beyond the images that are part of our collective memory. Even those who have never read Charles Dickens’ novella see in their minds Ebenezer Scrooge, the ghosts, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim . . . . We have watched the iconic miser’s story unfold on-screen over and over. Whether we see him as Michael Caine (in The Muppet Christmas Carol), as Disney’s Scrooge McDuck, or as Alastair Sim (A Christmas Carol, 1951), he’s there in our minds.

Your assignment this week  is too look beyond those images and see the story anew through Dickens’ own words. I have assigned each of you one of the five staves. Dickens labeled each section or chapter as a stave, an archaic term for a stanza of a song or poem, to underscore the idea that the story is a Christmas carol in prose.

Directions

  1. Study the stave assigned to you in A Christmas Carol (see the lists below), and identify at least one detail that isn’t familiar to you, something you haven’t seen or heard in an adaptation: a description, a line of dialogue, an unfamiliar term, etc.
  2. Compose a response of twenty-five words or more that addresses that detail. Include the stave number in your response. If you include a quote, follow it with a parenthetical citation: stave with a lower-case followed by the number (stave 1).
  3. If you’d like to address the experience of reading Dickens’ novella in the days of the novel coronavirus, you’re welcome to do that in addition to (not in place of) addressing your assigned stave.
  4. Post your comment as a reply to this blog post by 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 9.

To avoid the risk of students restating what classmates have written in earlier posts, I will not make the comments available for view until after the posting deadline on Thursday.

ENG 242.871AC 

Stave 5: Carmen Bonilla, Gabe Carswell, Dakota Clawson, James Erwin, Caleb Fountain, Deanna Grogan, Allison Lasher, Paige Lewis, Emma Maltba, Hayleigh Marshall, Jaanai Mendez-Santiago, Mason Nance, Shea Ortiz, Andrew Parker

Stave 4: Amelia Price, Caroline Riddle, Grey Sacona, J.D. Sharpe, Kenna Sipe, Josh Sloan, Joshua West, Autumn Yang

ENG 242.872AC

Stave 4: Cierra Ballard, Mariana Bonilla-Quesada, Ashton Canipe, Allie Desantiago, Sarah Fox

Stave 3: Cristian Gonzalez-Sanchez, Candace Johnson, David Long, Hannah Maltba, Keara McCann, Peyton Moore, Jacob Palmer, Roberto Perez-Perez, Jenna Ramsey, Chandler Rhyne, Joe Robbins, Jeremy Simpson, Alex Xiong, Madison St. Clair

Stave 2: Ahira Yanez, Anna Young

ENG 242.873AC

Stave 2: Bryan Alba, Caeley Arney, Eden Austin, Breanna Bowman, Emily Brown, Ruben Castillo-Martinez, Landon Childres, Breanna Church, Colin Coffey, Chandler Danner, Noah Dietrich, Courtney Gant, Cole Harris

Stave 1: Jachin Jenkins, Caleb Little, Kayde Morgan, Luke Noble, Declan O’Halloran, Brian Paz-Tellez, Courtney Powell, Crowson Roosa, Lauren Setzer, Cole Sharpe, Madison Starnes, Joe Van Story, Riley Whitener, Linsey Wike

The first ten students to post will receive bonus points, and the first student who correctly answers the questions below will be awarded an extra credit assignment in the participation and preparedness category.

Extra Credit Questions

Along with the ghosts that visit Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, there’s a reference to another literary ghost. Who is the ghost, and in what work of British literature does he figure?

Remember to check your CVCC email and Blackboard regularly for updates and assignments.

54 thoughts on “ENG 242: Still Stranger than Fiction

  1. In Stave three of A Christmas Carol, the ghost of Christmas Present came to visit him. At the end of the visit, the ghost gets older. He shows Scrooge two starving children, Ignorance and want, and scrooge cries, “Have they no refuge or resource?”(Stave 3). I had not read this story in a while, but I did not remember these parts. The reference to another literary ghost is the ghost of Jacob Morley. Jacob Morley was Scrooges old business partner who had passed away about 7 years ago. At the beginning of the story, he came and gave warning to Scrooge to change his ways. This fits into the Romantic Period of British literature because it was written in the late 1800s.

  2. Within my stave(4) I found a few lines that were unfamiliar to me. If I remember correctly when Scrooge and the ghost of the time come to the future they go straight to his business. But in the original it shows the ghost and scrooge putting emphasis on smaller conversations about his death and how that impacts scrooge.

  3. “The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently, approached. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery,”(stave 4). In this excerpt, the ghost is described as having an aura of gloom about it; however, in the screen adaptations of the book we are not able to feel this aura around him since we are not there with him, so when reading the book for the first time it becomes a new detail, even when we have already seen one of the adaptations.

  4. In stave 3, Dickens mentions the exact time of a few minutes till one o’clock in morning when Scrooge wakes himself up with anxiety of another visitor. I feel like I have always been under the impression that the “messengers” who come to visit are always the ones who awaken Scrooge and not himself of his own accord. Then Scrooge has to leave the room he is in to go and find the ghost. I have always heard that the spirits just appear to him, not him having to search for them. Although minor details, those behind the adaptations may have just used generalizations of the visitors coming to see Scrooge to decrease effort or felt that these were not important details to the overall story and plot.

  5. STAVE 2. I have read adaptations and have even seen multiple live shows of “A Christmas Carol.” However, there are a few details just from this singular stave that I have never seen portrayed before. The detail I chose to highlight is the spirit being so clear yet indistinct in it’s being. Dickens describes it as “being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible” and then “it would be itself again; distinct and clear as ever” (stave 2). This is hard for the human mind to visualize, which may be why it has not been depicted in any of the adaptations I have seen or read.

  6. In stave one of A Christmas Carol, Marley appears before Scrooge. While I do remember Marley appearing before Scrooge in the movies, I do not remember Scrooge ever denying that he was really there. I think that this would be important to include in the movies because it shows that Scrooge did not want to believe that Marley’s ghost was there.

  7. I think that the reference to another literary ghost would be goblins, which appeared in one of Dicken’s earlier works “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton”.

  8. While reading stave 2 the only detail that I was really unfamiliar with was when the ghost of Christmas past showed what happened to Scrooge’s former lover. I do not recall ever seeing Scrooge’s former lover and her life after him. I believe it would be important to include because the viewer would get another view at what Scrooge has become.

    For the extra credit question I’m not sure at all who but here’s a guess that its Robinson Crusoe from Robinson Crusoe.

  9. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, has been adapted in many ways throughout the years, through many movies, and plays. I studied the second Stave within the original text, one interesting piece of the text that is different from many modern forms of the stroy is the first ghost is depicted as a child like old man, “It was a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man”(Stave 2). In modern versions the ghost of christmas past is portrayed as a flame, or in some adaptations and plays a woman.

  10. As I was reading A Christmas Carol, I came across a phrase that I did not quite understand, “The jocund travelers came on…” (stave 2). The word “jocund” by definition of the Oxford dictionary means “cheerful and lighthearted”. Scrooge recognizes all of the happy people from his past but does not experience the same happiness. This phrase is one that I was unfamiliar with in an adaptation or story. In conclusion, I found a new word to describe the emotion that all humans desire and go to extreme measures to achieve.

  11. Extra credit- “If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night…” (Stave 1). Ghost- Hamlet’s father Work of British Literature- Hamlet by William Shakespeare

  12. In stave three of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, The spirit of Christmas present asks two rhetorical questions that show what the character feels towards those in poverty. I think that he was repeating what Ebenezer Scrooge was commenting on before. The spirit asked if “are there no prisons?” and “Are there no workhouses?” (stave 3). This was one line of dialogue that I came across that I didn’t understand at first. When I started reading around the dialogue, I realized that he was talking about the people who are in poverty. The spirit used Scrooge’s words against him. The dialogue mentions what Scrooge thinks about poor people and where they should go.

    Extra Credit Question
    Hamlets Father
    William Shakespeares play Hamlet

    The ghost is Hamlet’s Father and he appears in William Shakespeare’s play called Hamlet.

  13. I can find two details in Stave 5 of A Christmas Carol that I do not recall in any of the film adaptations I’ve seen. The first is that Scrooge awakens with tears on his face from his encounter with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, a minor detail that I do not remember from the adaptations I have seen. I remember, in the films, people stealing Scrooge’s belongings after he had died– again, in his encounter with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come– including his bed-curtains, “rings and all” (stave 5). However, I don’t recall Scrooge clutching his bed-curtains when he sees them the next morning, relieved that they’re still hung.

  14. Upon reading Stave 2 of a Christmas Carol, I was surprised by how much time meant to Scrooge. At the beginning he becomes frantic because the clock is saying it is midnight while he knows he went to bed at 2:00 a.m. The text even makes a point to show why wasting a day is so important to Scrooge by stating, “three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge or his order,”(stave 2). It was important to him because he wanted his money. He didn’t want to waste a day and not get his money. This made me think of what we are going through right now with being in quarantine. Even though none of us I think are as selfish as Scrooge in this scene, we all too have started to worry about wasting time. Because of quarantine, most of us are now cooped up with nothing to do and we feel as if we are wasting the day away. For myself, that seems scary. I may not be scared of wasting a day because I am losing money, but I am scared of wasting a day because I am losing an opportunity for an experience. I think we can all relate to Scrooge here in some form of fashion. We may not be losing money by wasting a day, but we are losing a day that could have been very significant in our lives.

  15. I have not watched The Christmas Carol in an extremely long time, so my memory of it’s details are far and in between, but knowing what I do about the story from previous English classes, I could find a distinction in the text that I previously had not known. When the ghost of Christmas Past visits Scrooge in the middle of the night, Scrooge asks him if it is the long past, and the ghost replies that he is the ghost of Scrooge’s past. I did not know that the ghost was a figment of Scrooge’s past Christmas’.

  16. Stave 4

    In stave 4 of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come enter a “den of infamous resort” (stave 4) and follow the conversation of four people as they enter into a shop within. The four seem to be friends and as the last man enters, the man who seems to be the owner of the shop asks that his companions wait until he closes the door, which he says “skreeks” (stave 4) as he closes it. Now I’ll admit that I’ve only ever seen the animated Disney adaptation of the story, but I don’t remember the man in the adaption saying that his door skreeks. This is probably because Disney thought it would be wise to dumb down the old English from the original book to make the movie more child-friendly. Anyways, I didn’t know what skreek meant. However, from context clues and from a quick Google search I found the word to mean “to screech or creak”. Sticking with old English, when describing the people in the part of town Scrooge is in, the narrator calls them “slipshod”, another unfamiliar term. But this time, there were no context clues to give me the definition of the word, besides the words around it that all had negative connotations. So this time, I was forced to look up the term on Google again. Come to find out, it means something “characterized by lack of care, thought, or organization”, basically driving home the point that the people in this ghetto weren’t the happiest or most well off.

    I don’t know if this is correct, but in stave one, the narrator makes reference to Saint Dunstan and an Evil Spirit. Further research into this reference reveals that this is in reference to a legend about Saint Dunstan using his blacksmith’s tongs to grab the Devil by the nose. I’m not sure if “ghost” is supposed to be the specific term used, but this is the closest I found in my quick scan of the story.

  17. A detail from a Christmas Carol that I was not familiar with was when Ebenezer Scrooge spots a charwoman, a laundress, and an undertaker stealing from him. In order to describe this scene, Dickens writes “A seal or two, a pencil-case, a pair of sleeve-buttons, and a brooch of no great value, were all. They were severally examined and appraised by old Joe [the undertaker], who chalked the sums he was disposed for each,” (stave 4). Scrooge is filled with dread while watching this scene play out. He feels great sorrow and pity for the poor man who has no mourners. Dickens also shows how Scrooge was one of the most disliked men in London by creating such hateful dialog between the three thieves. Mrs. Dilber, the laundress, says “Every person has a right to take care of themselves. 𝘏𝘦 always did” (stave 4). I believe this scene adds to the tension that Scrooge feels before realizing that Tiny Tim, as well as he himself, has died.

  18. In Stave 3 of A Christmas Carol, one detail that I don’t remember (or am not familiar with) is when the second spirit and Scrooge sail across the sea until they land on a ship and stand beside the helmsman at the wheel. I also don’t recall the happenings on the ship and the descriptions of the men on the ship. The experience, for me, of reading Dickens’ novella in the days of the novel coronavirus was a connection of how uncertain and scared Scrooge was about the unfamiliariarity of the spirits. I made a connection between Scrooge’s feelings towards the Spirits to our feelings towards the coronavirus because we are all uncertain and scared about the coronavirus. We don’t know what to expect or how to better prepare ourselves in the fight against this virus and it scares us. While we are uncertain and scared, I hope there will be a positive impact from all of this in that we all become a better version of ourselves (or a better version of humanity) by the end of it all.

  19. I recall myself in earlier years reading and watching a play about A Christmas Carol. In stave 4 of Charles Dickens A Christma Carol, a few lines come to me that I don’t remember from when I was a child. The lines read as follows, “They left the busy scene, and went into an obscure part of the town, where Scrooge had never penetrated before,…the shops and houses wretched; the people half-naked, drunken, slipshod, ugly. …and the whole quarter reeked with crime, with filth, and misery” (stave 4). I chose these lines because there is so much detail in them and again, I don’t recall these lines when I was younger. I believe these lines give emphasis on the state this part of town is in.

  20. Towards the beginning of Stave 5, I’m unfamiliar with Scrooge’s exclamation after waking up in his own bed and having been shown his future if he keeps acting the way he does towards others. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy, I am as giddy as a drunken man.” From what I remember when watching the animated adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ after seeing his dreadful future that he bestowed upon himself he is happy to see it hasn’t happened yet but not as enthusiastic as what is written in Stave 5.

  21. I was rather confused by the dialogue between the Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge during the spirit’s introduction. Upon the spirit asking if scrooge had “seen the like of [him] before,” Scrooge responds “I am afraid I have not” and the ghost replies with “Have never walked forth with the younger members of my family; meaning (for I am very young) my elder brothers born in these later years?” (stave 3).
    First, I find it interesting that the ghost does not use “you” when asking a question to Scrooge. I speculate this may just be Victorian dialogue where pronouns may be left out when the conversation is between two people and it is obvious as to who is being addressed. I was also quite confused with the subject of their talk in general. Who are the spirit’s brothers that Scrooge claims he has not walked forth with? Why does the spirit make a side comment about being young? Perhaps this conversation is just small talk largely lost in understanding over time with little importance to the narrative. Or perhaps the reader is supposed to recognize the origin of the spirit and have background knowledge of all its brothers. I do not know.
    After some research, I found that the Ghost of Christmas Present is based on Father Christmas, the origin of Santa Claus in the United States. The folklore of Father Christmas shows that he was originally a pagan figure, explaining the viability of his many brothers. This is something I believe only victorians at the time may have understood.

  22. After reading stave 1 of A Christmas Carol, a few things have reached out to me. For example, in paragraph 5, Dickens says, “ Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him” (stave 1). In the Disney version of the movie (to be quite honest, its the only Christmas Carol thing I have ever seen), the movie does not mention that Marley was often called Scrooge. Matter of fact, Marley did not care. In the movie, they are compared as business partners only. I like how the movie left that out. I really thought that was a detail that could’ve allowed Marley’s ghost to be even more influential when he visits Scrooge.

  23. Throughout many years of childhood, witnessing renditions of Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol through animation, my young mind never understood the symbolism behind the encasing chain of Jacob Marley’s ghost. Via the eyes of Ebenezer Scrooge, Dickens’ words explain that the chain had a strange composition “of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel” (stave 1). All being materials essential to Marley’s career at a “counting-house,” the oddly linked chain represents greed and isolation (stave 1). A chain of which Marley brought upon himself for being stingy, self-absorbed, and a workaholic. This was to serve as a warning for Scrooge considering his hatred towards Christmas, other people, and social life or life outside of work altogether. Marley’s ghost tries to convince Scrooge that there is more to life than being miserable in isolation with the constant focus on money and work. The theme of isolation conveys itself clearly to me during the countless days of quarantine due to the life-changing coronavirus. Pacing through the first stave of Dickens’ writing brought the realization that school, work, and any other occupation should not be the only focus in life, a point Marley’s ghost attempts to make. It is important to stay close with family and friends, through holidays or a pandemic, rather than push them away and say “humbug” like Scrooge (stave 1). Life is too important and short to waste away with a bitter attitude; one should live in happiness and enjoy the company of others while one can.

  24. While reading through Stave 5 I noticed a lot of repetition within the same sentences which helped to show how Scrooge felt towards something or how important something is to the story. Almost like pointing out crucial details that contribute to the story.

  25. After reading stave two the detail that I found most unfamiliar was when the ghost of Christmas past takes Scrooge to see a woman named Belle. This woman breaks off her engagement with Scrooge. I believe that this part would have been crucial to add to the story because it allows the reader to have a better understanding of why Scrooge hates everyone so much.

  26. In Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”, Dicken uses a lot of imagery in his writing and can make it difficult for people to comprehend. In stave 3 Dicken’s one of the paragraphs proclaims in how nervous the main character is while he is waiting for the ghost. As Dickens says “all this time, he lay upon his bed, the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light, which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour” (stave 3). He is nervous and is fidgeting not understanding how and when the ghost will appear before him: “was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion, without having the consolation of knowing it” (stave 3). I can relate to this in how I am very nervous about how this pandemic will turn out. We don’t know the outcome of what is to happen. We can only move forward without any hesitation.

  27. A term that I was unfamiliar with out of the first stave was the term “ironmongery”. I was able to determine that the word means something made out of metal. I was able to do this through context clues from this sentence; “I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade”(stave 1). A nail is made out of metal and I also checked my definition of ironmongery in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and I was correct.

  28. I have not seen or read an adaptation of ¨A Christmas Carol¨ in many years, but I always remember the adaptations of ¨A Christmas Carol¨ having a cheerful tone, throughout most of the story. Stave two seemed to have a much darker tone than I remembered in previous versions of the story. I did not recognize these lines, ¨´Spirit!´ said Scrooge in a broken voice, ´remove me from this place.´ Ghost. ´That they are what they are, do not blame me!´¨(stave 2). These lines are dark and they end stave two on an uneasy note.

    Extra Credit: In stave one of ¨A Christmas Carol,¨ there is a reference to another literary ghost:
    ¨If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamletś Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot–say Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance–literally to astonish his son’s weak mind¨ (stave 1). This ghost is Hamlet´s Father, which is from Shakespeares piece of literature ¨Hamlet.¨

  29. Before reading this story today, I have never seen or read A Christmas Carol. I have heard small portions of the story, but have never read it to its entirety. After reading stave 5, something I was unfamiliar with was the line that says “…and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings (stave 5).” I was unsure as to what Scrooge was referencing to. Laocoön is a greek figure that is the son of Acoetes. He was a Trojan priest that was attacked by serpents sent by their gods. Laocoön was attacked alongside his two sons. By saying Scrooge was making a “perfect Laocoön (stave 5)” he was implying that he was fighting off his grumpiness, just as Laocoön fought off the serpents.

  30. In Stave 3 of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge is waiting on the second spirit. One detail I never noticed was a how as time passes he became more nervous. Another detail I didn’t remember was the second spirit making scrooge touch his robe.

  31. In stave three of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge is waiting to confront the second spirit. One thing I was unfamiliar with is that when the second spirit appears, he tell Scrooge that he has over 1800 brothers and his lifespan is a mere day.

  32. In Stave 5 of A Christmas Carol, I noticed the word “retorted” being used in explanation to who was responding and I have never seen this word used before. It was hard to figure out what exactly was meant by restored using context clues so I looked it up and found that it was replying is such a manner of sharpness or angrily in response to an accusation or remark.

  33. While reading A Christmas Carol, I came across many lines that stumped me. “Driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock (stave 5),” this one in particular really had me look over it a couple of times before I understood it. I wanted to believe that it had a hidden meaning like many of the lines do in this story, but it simply means that he was driving away quickly and he was determined to do so. He was desperate to get to the place he was trying to go. During this national pandemic, we want to go away desperately just like he did. We want the security of knowing that we can leave if we feel the need to, but we don’t get that anymore. We are confined to our “safe space”.

  34. In stave one, we see Marley’s ghost appear before Scrooge. One difference I noticed after reading this stanza is that in the movies I have seen, Scrooge does not deny that Marley is there. Scrooge seems to just accept it and move on. This could be important to include in the movies because after seeing how grumpy and cruel Scrooge is, this would show a different side to his character.

  35. In stave 1, the phrase, “…secret, self-contained, and solitary as an oyster”, was one that I had never heard someone use before. This phrase of course was describing Scrooge as being an introvert, but I had never heard it in any adaptations I have watched or anyone use this to describe someone.

  36. After seeing Tiny Tim, Scrooge asks the Spirit if he will live and the Spirit replies using his own words against him: “If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population”, (Stave III). The Ghost then continues to criticize him saying he is worthless and has no right to decide who is to die and who is to live. I do not recall such an aggressive confrontation nor have I heard the metaphor then used that compares Scrooge to an insect. It states “to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”, further emphasizing how entitled Scrooge sounds to those around him.

  37. For this assignment, I was instructed to study Stave 2 of “A Christmas Carol.” Upon my reading of this work, many components stuck out to me as unusual due to its use of trademark language of the Victorian age (1843). However, the line of dialogue that stuck out most to me as being unfamiliar to my modern eyes comes from Ebenezer Scrooge’s conversation, in his “prime of life” (stave 2), with his lover, Belle. Here, she is essentially telling her former love interest that he has been overtaken by the greed and want of wealth, saying, “All your hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach” (stave 2). The meaning of this line of dialogue is that Belle believes that Scrooge hopes to become impervious to whatever the world throws him– by firmly securing and trusting in his wealth. While examining context was helpful to me in figuring out the meaning of this sentence, the word that I cannot mentally assign a meaning to is the term “sordid” (stave 2). However, through studying the scene unfolding around this line, I can determine that the word is an adjective with a negative denotation.

  38. While reading my assigned stave (stave 5), I stumbled upon the word “Laocoön”. This word is something I have never heard before, but due to context clues, I assume the word means that Scrooge was making himself look silly. After finishing my reading, I researched the word, and Dickens was referring to a famous greek statue of a man in agony. In context, Dickens meant Scrooge was making a fool of himself because he was struggling with his stockings.

  39. One detail that isn’t familiar to me is when scrooge buys the huge turkey in stave 5. On Christmas day he had woken up joyful and asked a boy if they had sold the huge turkey at ” Poulterer’s” (store) and the boy replied no, so Scrooge told the boy to go buy the turkey and if the boy got back in 5 minutes or fewer, he would receive half a crown from Scrooge.

  40. While studying stave one of the Christmas Carol I noticed a quote by Scrooge that I had never heard before. The quote is “Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it” (stave 1). I had never heard this and it made me think about Scrooge’s more practical part of him. How ruining others happiness was the easiest and cheapest way for Scrooge to find entertainment.

  41. When reading stave 1 the sentence “Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” caught my attention. I have never heard anyone been referred to as “self-contained” like “an oyster”. The phase is referencing to him as an introvert, closed off from the rest of the world. I don’t remember hearing this in any of the versions of “A Christmas Carol” that I have watched.

  42. Since I have never read the book in its entirety, I wasn’t familiar with the way the Ghost of Christmas Present got Ebenezer Scrooge to realize how bitter of a person he was. For example, when Ebenezer was told that Tiny Tim would die, the Ghost of Christmas Present said “[i]f he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population” (stave 3). These were the words that Ebenezer had already spoken before knowing about what was to come. Before reading this line and the dialogue surrounding it, I had never noticed that the Ghost of Christmas Present uses Ebenezer’s own words against him in order to make him feel guilty for the way he has acted. I thought that he just showed him all the terrible things that would be his fault.

  43. Stave 1:
    One funny and interesting line of dialogue that I have never heard mention in A Christmas Carol “even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him” (stave1). Furthermore, the dogs also turned out to not be very fund of Scrooge and this is pretty interesting because it gives a bit of a humorous tone to the story and further detail on how much of Scrooge, Scrooge really was.

  44. One difference I noticed between the original work and the film adaptations I noticed was how the Ghost of Christmas Past was described in appearance. The original work says, “It was a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions”(stave 2). Throughout all of the film adaptations I have seen, not a single one of them has shown the first ghost as the novel describes it.

  45. Within Stave 1, the quote ¨Old Marley was dead as a doornail¨ is used. While this quote seems familiar to most, it truly uncovers the representation behind most of ¨A Christmas Carol¨ story line unnoticable at a glance. While in this instance it is simply referencing the cold heartedness or lack of life within Marley, many other deeper and detailed connections can be seen through this Stave and story.

  46. when reading the section of stave 3 I remember in the movie there was a huge pile of fruits, vegetables, and meat beside the ghost of Christmas past but in the book, the picture shows just a little pile that only has a couple of things.

  47. During this time of the coronavirus, rereading A Christmas Carol in April has been interesting. As I was reading through the second stave of the literary work, I realized how little I remembered from reading and watching the adaptations of A Christmas Carol.The Ghost of Christmas Past in some movie adaptations was depicted as an actual candle who showed Scrooge his past under the apprenticeship of Fezziwig. In the original publishing of A Christmas Carol, the spirit is depicted as, “like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man.” (stave 2).

  48. In stave 2 of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, I noticed an unfamiliar detail that is distinct to the adaptations when I read about Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past going through the events following the scene when Scrooge loses the love of his life, Belle. After seeing that scene, Scrooge asks the spirit to “Haunt me no longer”, but the spirit proceeds to display one final scene that shows how Belle was doing after Scrooge last saw her (stave 2). In that scene, Belle’s husband tells Belle that he saw an old friend of hers and stated, “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.” (stave 2). The scene leads to Scrooge extinguishing the flame of the ghost with his cap and falling into a heavy sleep. I don’t recall seeing these details in the adaptations of the novella, especially the dialogue from Belle’s husband in the scene recalling Scrooge.

    Extra Credit Questions: The ghost of Hamlet’s father from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

  49. One detail I found unfamiliar while reading, was a line “What has he done with his money?” asked a red-faced gentleman with a pendulous excrescence on the end of his nose, that shook like the gills of a turkey-cock.” (stave 4) the words “pendulous excrescence” and “shook like the gills of a turkey-cock” are nothing I have ever heard in a sentence, in any sort of context or in any novel I have ever studied.

  50. One part in stave 2 that was unfamiliar to me was when Scrooge is describing a man named Robin Crusoe. Scrooge describes him as a parrot, “Green body and yellow tail, with a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head”(Stave ii). I have never hear of this character in any other versions of A Christmas Carol>

  51. In stave four, there was a part that had mentioned a woman who felt sorry for him for dying. This happened after Scrooge asked the Phantom, “If there is any person in the town, who feels emotion caused by this man’s death, show that person to me, Spirit, I beseech you!”. I hadn’t really remembered someone who actually grieved his death since he was so mean to the people around him.

  52. The line, “are there no prisons…are there no workhouses” was a line that I do not remember hearing before. The line was said by the Ghost of Christmas Past to in which was a response to when Scrooge ask if the children under is robe had a place to stay or anyway to receive help. I look to see if these two things appear earlier at any point in the story. In the first stave, Mr.Scrooge mentions both the prison and and the workhouses as a the poor and unfortunate. The Ghost of Christmas Past is showing him the reality and throwing his words back in his face showing him that they are not working to help the poor and unfortunate.

    (I am sure I have heard it before but it has been awhile)

  53. A detail that caught my attention was how the spirit showed Scrooge a past conversation and Scrooge was surprised. Scrooge had thought it was for a reason, and the reason being for Scrooge to look back on in the future and possibly give his future self clues of things. It also said it could have a “bearing on Jacob’s death, who was his old partner and so Scrooge could look at this and maybe help him improve himself.¨ (stave 4) I have read the play and watched the movie, however, I don’t recall this detail. This detail could be really important in the plot because small things and details can be important as in Scrooges’ case to help him learn more and improve himself.

  54. One detail in A Christmas Carol that I was not familiar to me upon reading was the description of the Ghost of Christmas Past. He was described as being “a strange figure–like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions” (stave 2). One thought that I had as to why the Ghost of Christmas Past appeared in such a way that resembled both a child and an old man is because he is supposed to resemble a past experience, which could be represented by a young child.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s