A Christmas Carol eText - Reading Pointers For Sharper Insights

Charles Dickens

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Reading Pointers For Sharper Insights

  1. A Christmas Carol is arguably Charles Dickens' best-known and best-loved book for many reasons. To fully appreciate the book and understand its broad appeal, consider the following:

  2. Pay close attention to Marley's prediction of when the three spirits will each visit Scrooge.

  3. Notice how Dickens blends the secular, festival celebration of Christmas (traditional in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but outlawed by the Puritans in the seventeenth century) with a more religious observation, thus essentially inventing the “modern Christmas.”

  4. Don't miss the richness of Dickens' sensory imagery, especially descriptions of food.

  5. Consider Dickens' use of light and dark as images and possibly as symbols in the book.

  6. Compare the original story with any of the numerous book, film, theatrical, and television versions and adaptations, and consider what each of them has in common, thus explaining the story's mass appeal.

  7. Note the elements in the story that actually border on propaganda.