The novella, whose original title was A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, is a ghost story. It can also be characterized as an allegory and as an example of Victorian gothic.


The tone of the novella 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 & Place)

A Christmas Carol is set in the early Victorian era (likely the 1840s) and is set in London.


The protagonist of the novella is 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.


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.