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A Christmas Carol | Section Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Morning, Christmas Eve

    Scrooge refuses to warm his counting house for his clerk.

    Stave 1
  • Afternoon, Christmas Eve

    Scrooge is visited by Fred, the charity collectors, and a Christmas caroler.

    Stave 1
  • Evening, Christmas Eve

    After dinner, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost.

    Stave 1
  • After ghost leaves

    Scrooge falls asleep at what he knew to be 2:00 a.m. Christmas morning.

    Stave 1
  • Some time later

    Scrooge wakes up confused, hearing the clock strike midnight.

    Stave 2
  • Clock strikes 1

    The Ghost of Christmas Past arrives.

    Stave 2
  • Clock strikes 1 again

    Scrooge awakens and the Ghost of Christmas Present visits.

    Stave 3
  • Shortly after

    The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come arrives.

    Stave 4
  • Early, Christmas Day

    Scrooge awakens and realizes he has been given a second chance.

    Stave 5
  • That afternoon

    Scrooge buys a Christmas feast for the Cratchit family and joins Fred's celebration.

    Stave 5

Section Summaries Chart

Section Summary
Stave 1 The novella opens with the clear statement that "Marley was dead: to begin with." His business partner, Ebenezer Scrooge... Read More
Stave 2 Ebenezer Scrooge wakes in the middle of the night. The clock strikes midnight, which confuses and disorients him, becaus... Read More
Stave 3 When Ebenezer Scrooge awakens it is just before one o'clock again, and he prepares for the second ghostly visitor by pul... Read More
Stave 4 The final spirit, which resembles a Grim Reaper, floats silently toward Ebenezer Scrooge, seeming to "scatter gloom and ... Read More
Stave 5 Ebenezer Scrooge is overwhelmed with gratitude to be alive, in his own bed, and given a second chance. He falls to his k... Read More
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