Who is Fan in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In A Christmas Carol, Fan is Ebeneezer Scrooge's sister. Dickens introduces Fan in the second stave of the story when the Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge to revisit his childhood. In this scene, Fan comes to collect the young Scrooge from boarding school. Fan is evidently a loving and caring person, as shown by the fact that she begged her father to have Scrooge home for Christmas:

I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home; and he said Yes, you should; and sent me in a coach to bring you.

Moreover, the ghost shares this positive view of Fan's character:

"Always a delicate creature, whom a breath might have withered,'' said the Ghost. "But she had a large heart!''

It is also in this stave that we learn Fan died as a young woman, sometime after the birth of Fred, her only child (and Scrooge's nephew). Fred has clearly inherited many of his mother's character attributes, as shown by his desire to spend Christmas with his uncle, despite Scrooge's miserable character. 

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