Why is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens structured into five staves? What is the significance of the staves and structure?

Expert Answers

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

The story is structured into five chapters because there is one for Christmas Even, one for each ghost and one for Christmas Day.

Dickens chose the name “carol” so he organized the story into staves, like in music.  He wanted to emphasize that the story is very short and specific.  Like many actual Christmas Carols, it has a moral.  It is about living your best life, and as many carols, it is about the true spirit of Christmas, which Dickens believes is that we should take care of each other, and you can be happy no matter how much material wealth you have.

The first stave is Christmas Eve, and it shows what Scrooge was like before his visitation.  He is a grumpy old miser.  His dead partner Jacob shows up and offers him a rare chance to look into his life and see glimpses of the past, present, and future.

It is...

(The entire section contains 462 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team