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