Today marks the day of A Christmas Carol read-along for the Dickens in December event that I am hosting with Caroline (Beauty is a Sleeping Cat). The questions below were sent to those who signed up for the read-along. If you haven’t signed up but would still like to participate, feel free to answer on your blog (or here if you don’t have one) and leave your link in the comment so that we can add you to the list of participants. I look forward to visiting your blog and reading your answers.
Here’s Caroline’s post on the read-along.
Is this the first time you are reading the story?
Yes. I remember watching various movie adaptations when I was younger but never actually reading the original story.
Did you like it?
Very much. It was sad but also funny. I particularly liked the use of the word humbug, that word expresses Scrooge’s nature so well. It really made my day.
Which was your favorite scene?
It’s quite difficult to pick just one but there are a couple of paragraphs two or three pages into the story which describes the cold weather and as I am a summer loving person, it left a very strong impression. It goes like this:
“It was cold, bleak, biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside, go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement-stones to warm them.” Very evocative, I did not envy those people.
And there’s another one:
“The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal little cell beyond, a sort of tank, was copying letters. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk’s fire was so much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn’t replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of strong imagination, he failed.”
That small fire that “looked like one coal” really made me shiver.
Which was your least favorite scene?
The scene at Fred’s house, where the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge. It’s not to say that I disliked it, but if I were to make a “top scene” list, this would be the last. I know Scrooge wasn’t a likeable character but to see him made fun of, compared to “a bear” and the like, it grated on my nerves a little. Maybe it’s because I was already beginning to feel sorry for him.
Which spirit and his stories did you find the most interesting?
The first Spirit’s story was pretty moving because it shed light on Scrooge’s past and made him more human. It shows the reader a possible reason why Scrooge turned up the way he did, shunning Christmas and being grumpy all the time. Even though I did not think his attitude was justified, it gave me a glimpse into his life and made me more understanding of his rejection of anything Christmas-related. After all, people can hurt you, money can’t.
Was there a character you wish you knew more about?
I did wonder about Scrooge’s sister, who is just briefly mentioned, and would have liked to know more about his family. Nevertheless, I don’t think the brief details took away anything from the story.
How did you like the end?
Did you think it was believable?
It fits the festive mood of the season, after all it’s a time for celebration and being happy. As for being believable, I’m standing in the middle here, leaning towards a positive answer.
Do you know anyone like Scrooge?
I know of a few people who could be great candidates for the role in time, but definitely not to that extent.
Did he deserve to be saved?
Given the way he turned out to be afterwards, I’d say a definite yes.