Full title   A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

Author  Charles Dickens

Type of work  Novella

Genre  Ghost story, Victorian gothic, allegory, novella

Time and place written  Written in six weeks between October and December in London, 1843

Date of first publication  December 19, 1843

Publisher  Chapman & Hall

Tone  Shifts frequently. Since the story is an allegory, the tone is often moralizing. The narrator is critical of Scrooge and his indifference to the poor and mocks his lack of self-awareness, but the tone changes to sincere, mournful, celebratory, and even joyous on the subject of the Cratchits, for instance, or Christmas in general.

Setting (time)  The Victorian era, likely the 1840s

Setting (place)  London

Protagonist  Ebenezer Scrooge

Major conflict  Scrooge must traverse his past, present, and future to undergo a radical transformation and avoid the fate of which Marley’s ghost has warned him.

Rising action  Scrooge is visited by three spirits who show him the consequences of his greed, forcing him to reconcile the boy he used to be with the man he is now.

Climax  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come solidifies Scrooge's change of heart by revealing that, should he continue down this path, no one will mourn him when he dies. Scrooge understands the impact his actions have had on others and begs the spirit for another chance, promising he's no longer the person he once was.

Falling action  His journey now complete, Scrooge wakes up in his bed on Christmas morning, ready to face the world with a new lease on life. He spreads Christmas cheer, shares his wealth, and befriends the Cratchits.

Themes  Generosity, regret, moral responsibility, the Christmas spirit

Motifs  Weather, time, poverty

Symbols  Chains, the children of Ignorance and Want, light