A Christmas Carol Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol book cover
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What are some famous words from A Christmas Carol?   

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Tiny Tim's words are the most famous in the story.

The most famous words in this novella are probably Tiny Tim’s blessing to his family.

“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. (Stave 3)

Tiny Tim makes this blessing during Christmas dinner at the Cratchit house.  The Cratchit family is poor, but happy in that they have each other.  This is a stark contrast to Scrooge, who does not have anyone. Scrooge watches the family gathering and begins to feel sorry for Tim, who is crippled and will die if no intervention is taken.  The family just doesn’t have the resources to care for him.  The Cratchits toast Scrooge, at Bob’s insistence, but it is this blessing from little Tim that melts Scrooge’s heart.

Another famous message also has to do with helping the poor.  Scrooge is faced with the Ghost of Christmas Present and two children, Ignorance and Want.  Scrooge earlier insisted that the poor should go to the government for charity.  After he is faced with his own past and sees how he affects the lives of others, he relents.  He asks whose children they are.

“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “…This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!” (Stave 3)

This is a moving speech, because it reminds the reader that we are responsible for all human beings, and especially our children.  While poverty is terrible, the real threat comes from lack of education and understanding.  Scrooge realizes this too, and when he returns to the real world he makes a big contribution to the poor.

Even people who have never read A Christmas Carol know who Tiny Tim is, and can quote his famous line.  In personifying the fate of the poor with one cute little crippled boy, Dickens reminded us all of our humanity.  People could not longer ignore the children they passed on the street, because now it was Tiny Tim they saw, not the anonymous masses.

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