A Christmas Carol Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol book cover
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How does Scrooge change throughout the story?

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a novella or short novel. Although A Christmas Carol is divided into five Staves that might be confused with a five-act play at first glance, Dickens’s story is written in prose.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on Ebenezer Scrooge. It is no exaggeration to claim that Scrooge is one of the most iconic and dynamic figures in all English literature. A major part of the character's popularity is his overnight transformation from crotchety miser to full-hearted philanthropist.

In the opening scenes of the play, Scrooge is comically grouchy and cold-hearted. He refuses to allow his employee, Bob Cratchit, to add coal to the fire to warm his office. He dismisses his nephew with the famous retort, “Bah, humbug!” when invited to participate in family Christmas celebrations. Scrooge also rebuffs a pair of gentlemen seeking charitable donations for the poor; he declares, “I wish to be left alone,” and says of the poor, “If they would rather die...

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