A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What morals and deeper meanings are explored in A Christmas Carol?

Expert Answers info

Harrison Murray, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Clemson University


calendarEducator since 2019

write1,327 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

In addition to the other Educators' responses, I would add that Dickens stresses the importance of maintaining authentic human relationships in order to best appreciate and enjoy life.

When Scrooge revisits his past, he is reminded of the close relationship he shared with his sister when they were young children. Fan came to visit him one Christmas while Scrooge was alone at school:

A little girl, much younger than the boy, came darting in, and putting her arms about his neck, and often kissing him, addressed him as her “Dear, dear brother.” (stave 2)

Although she is dead in Scrooge's...

(The entire section contains 10 answers and 2,065 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,707 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

kathik eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write398 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jessecreations eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write204 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

markchambers1966 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write69 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pmiranda2857 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write1,721 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jessecreations eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write204 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

engtchr5 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write591 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write1,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jessecreations eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write204 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


frizzyperm | Student

I think one of the major things that the book tries to promote is the idea of philanthropy. In other words that rich people have a duty to help the less fortunate through charity.

There is a genuine Christmas Carol from Victorian times (I don't know if it is popular in The States) called Good King Weneslaus. It has a very similar message to Dickens's book. The final verse is as follows

  • Therefore Christian Men be sure,
  • Wealth or rank possessing,
  • Ye who now will bless the poor,
  • Shall yourselves find blessing.

In Victorian England most people lived in terrible poverty but a few were very rich. Philanthropy was considered a Christian duty of the wealthy and I think that is the intended central message of Dickens.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial
frizzyperm | Student

A Christmas Carol is the story of the moral redemption of Ebeneezer Scrooge, a heartless, mean, old money-lender who hates everybody and doesn't have any morals.

On the night before Christmas, Ebeneezer is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley. Marley's ghost is wrapped in chains and says that in the afterlife people are punished for their sins by being forced to carry heavy chains all the time. The more sins we do in life, the longer the chain we must carry. Jacob tells Ebeneezer that the chain he will carry after death is extremely long and heavy.

During that night, 3 spirits visit Scrooge and they show him his life; past, present and future. Scrooge realizes that he is a miserable, lonely, bad old man and he has lost all the love and hope he had as a young man.

He resolves to be a good person and help the poor and needy.

The moral of the story is that being rich is not as important as being happy and that happiness is found in helping others.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial