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Sunday, November 25, 2012

LAQs #4 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).
A mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his counting-house on a frigid Christmas Eve. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in the anteroom because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire. Scrooge's nephew, Fred, pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party. Two portly gentlemen also drop by and ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. Scrooge reacts to the holiday visitors with bitterness and venom, spitting out an angry "Bah! Humbug!" in response to his nephew's "Merry Christmas!" Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley, looking haggard and pallid, relates his unfortunate story. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during each of the next three nights. After the wraith disappears, Scrooge collapses into a deep sleep. He wakes moments before the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. After pleading with the ghost, Scrooge finds himself in a churchyard, the spirit pointing to a grave. Scrooge looks at the headstone and is shocked to read his own name. He desperately implores the spirit to alter his fate, promising to renounce his insensitive, avaricious ways and to honor Christmas with all his heart. Whoosh! He suddenly finds himself safely tucked in his bed. Overwhelmed with joy by the chance to redeem himself and grateful that he has been returned to Christmas Day, Scrooge rushes out onto the street hoping to share his new-found Christmas spirit. He sends a giant Christmas turkey to the Cratchit house and attends Fred's party, to the stifled surprise of the other guests. As the years go by, he holds true to his promise and honors Christmas with all his heart: he treats Tiny Tim as if he were his own child, provides lavish gifts for the poor, and treats his fellow human beings with kindness, generosity, and warmth.
2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel.Redemption: The greatest pleasure in A Christmas Carol is watching Scrooge's transformation from money-pinching grouch to generous gentleman. His redemption, a major motif in Christian art, is made possible through free will. While Scrooge is shown visions of the future, he states that they are only visions of things that "May" be, not what "Will" be. He has the power to change the future with his present actions, and Dickens tries to impart this sense of free will to the reader; if Scrooge can change, then so can anyone. novel. Avoid cliches.
3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).
The tone changes depending on the spirit. The tone with the ghost of Christmas past is sorrowful and reminiscent. The ghost of Christmas present's tone is jolly and happy. The ghost of Christmas yet to be is ominous. And the tone at the end is happy, light and repentant. 
4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)
Charles Dickens use symbolism in A Christmas Carol. An example may be the bells that Marley wears or the chains and register around Marley's waist.Foreshadowing: and example may be, " Mister Marley has been dead these seven years. He died seven years ago this very night." or " Yes, I'll not deny he's the hardest working apprentice to ever balance a book or close an account...".
Allegory: an example is the two children under the Ghost Of Christmas Present's robe.
Conflict: an example of this may be that if Ebenezer Scrooge doesn't change he will dye in the way the last ghost showed him, all alone.
Mood: the mood of this story makes you want to forgive Ebenezer Scrooge for his wrong doings and help him live the rest of his life full of warmth and joy.
Point of view: The point of view we as the reader is given show us how mean Ebenezer is, why he is this way, and final what will happen to him if he doesn't change.
Setting: the setting put the story in a more simpler time, were you did what you did to get by, so that you could feed your family.
Tone: The tone changes depending on the spirit. The tone with the ghost of Christmas past is sorrowful and reminiscent. The ghost of Christmas present's tone is jolly and happy. The ghost of Christmas yet to be is ominous. And the tone at the end is happy, light and repentant.
1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization. Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?Dickens uses both direct and indirect characterization to breathe life into his character. In the first chapter, 
Dickens describes Scrooge, in famous passage, as "a squeezing wrenching grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" He then uses images of winter weather to describe the coldness of Scrooge's heart and the iciness of his behavior.
2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character? How? Example(s)?
Dickens syntax makes his style instantly recognizable the long, complex sentences, are so evident in all the stave:"not only..." here, he repetition at the begging of every clause emphasizes the usual circumstances. in addition the short sentences "as dead as a door-nail" impact on the reader.
3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic? Flat or round? Explain.
One of the things you realize as you read this novella is that since it's about a man wrestling with his own inner demons, Scrooge happens to be both the protagonist and the antagonist of the story at the same time.
4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character? Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.
I felt like I was closer to Scrooge because I got to understand why he became the way he was and I got to see the amzing change from mean man to a generous man.

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