What details on Fred's party in stave 3 are given in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens? What is said about the music played, games and activities, and the food that is served?  

The details regarding Fred's party in stave 3 of A Christmas Carol convey an atmosphere of warmth and lively friendship. These details serve to show the contrast to Scrooge's dismal and lonely life.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As Scrooge watches, Fred and his wife host a group of friends for a Christmas party. He sees them laughing in a warm, cozy room as they talk about Scrooge's opinion of Christmas. It's clear that the assembled group pities him somewhat for missing a nice dinner and good conversation. The types of food served at the dinner aren't specified. However, the guests say that the dinner is very good and there is dessert on the table.

The group is sitting around the fire in a room lit by lamps. After tea is over, they sing songs and play instruments together. Scrooge's niece plays the harp. Next, they start to play games. They play Blind Man's Bluff, and Topper chases around the girl he has feelings for. They play How, When, and Where and Scrooge's niece by marriage does very well. They also play Yes and No.

There are about twenty people at the party. It's all very merry. Scrooge is so caught up in the scene that he answers questions for the games and begs to stay longer. The merriment, warmth, and friendliness of the scene show him some of what he's been missing by keeping himself so separate from other people.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Fred's Christmas gathering is presented as a lively and festive atmosphere, a contrast to Scrooge's attitude and pervasive dismal spirit concerning the holiday. It is noted that Fred laughs with ease, enjoying his guests and setting the warm and lively tone. The group has finished dinner, and they now gather around the fire together with dessert on the table. The group passes around a bottle of spirits and then enjoys tea together. After tea, they gather for music. An especially musically inclined group, various members play the harp and sing. After enjoying music and more laughter, they turn to games, playing "profits," and then "blind man's bluff," enjoying themselves much like children. The latter game presents an opportunity for one of the male guests to teasingly corner one of the female guests as they both laugh at his amazing ability to locate her even though he is supposed to be "blinded" during the game. The group of about twenty guests gets so festive and competitive in their game-playing that Scrooge himself begins playing along, calling out guesses to their games. The last game Scrooge gets to witness is a game called Yes and No, a guessing game where Scrooge finds himself the laughable object of the game.

In short, the music, games, and food create a fun scene that Scrooge realizes he is missing out on. In secluding himself from family and refusing to enjoy friendships, he lives alone and miserable, missing out on the lively companionship of his nephew.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At Fred's party, the guests first have dinner and dessert, and then they have tea. Fred's party features music, and all the guests join in. They are gifted at playing music, including a Glee and Catch, and Fred's wife plays the harp. Then, the guests play children's games such as forfeits and blind-man's bluff. They also play a game called How, When, and Where and a game called Yes and No, during which Fred thinks of something that they must guess. They play with abandon, acting like children, and a guest called Topper chases one of the women during blind-man's bluff and knocks over fire-irons and chairs in his pursuit of her. During Yes and No, Fred describes a disagreeable animal who lives in London and occasionally growls and grunts. Eventually, one of the other guests correctly guesses that Fred is describing his uncle, Scrooge. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Fred, Scrooge's nephew who each year invites his uncle to his home in order to share in the Christmas festivities is observed by Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas Present, a jolly giant.

In Stave III, Scrooge finds his nephew laughing his contagious laughter that sets his company to joviality, as well. Fred tells his family and friends that he thinks that he "shook him" yesterday when he invited his uncle to Christmas dinner.  After dinner and dessert--there is no mention of what they have eaten, but perhaps they have eaten goose as the Crachitts have; then, they all have tea,  Scrooge's niece played the harp and her piece was a "simple little air" that reminded Scrooge of his youth.  After a while, the company played "at forfeits."  First, there is a game of blind-man's bluff in which Topper chases after the "plump sister" on purpose.  Then, there is a game of "How, When, and Where" in which even Scrooge participates, knowing his voice will not be heard. Following this game is another called "Yes and No," in Fred has to think of something and the others guess what it is.  The butt of this game is Scrooge himself.  But, the charitable Fred drinks  some mulled wine to Scrooge's health.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial