Key Quotes: A Christmas Carol

There’s no getting away from one of the main themes in the novel, Christmas Spirit, especially as the novel is set across Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Below are four key quotes to get you started with revision, along with possible interpretations.

‘I have always thought of Christmas time… as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time’ (Stave One)

Possible Interpretation: Dickens is reflecting a typical view of Christmas from the eyes of a Victorian society. The adjectives ‘kind’, ‘forgiving’, ‘charitable’ and ‘pleasant’ create a happy, calm and peaceful tone for the reader.

‘though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good’ (Stave One)

Possible Interpretation: Reflects the Victorian era, where it was less about presents and more about charity, religion and family. Dickens makes the point that being charitable during the festive season makes you feel better and therefore you spread more Christmas cheer.

‘“No more work tonight. Christmas Eve…Christmas! …”’ (Stave Two)

Possible Interpretation:  The noun ‘Christmas’ is repeated, which shows how much Christmas is enjoyed by many. The exclamation mark highlights the excitement of the different characters for the season, which is something both modern and contemporary audiences can relate to.

‘hung with living green, that it looked like the perfect grove… bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe and ivy’ (Stave Three)

Possible Interpretation: We associate the colour green with nature and Christmas. The adjective ‘living’, brings life to Christmas in a home where it isn’t usually celebrated. Dickens uses a list of different plants all associated with Christmas. The berries are described as ‘bright’, ‘gleaming’ and ‘glistening’ which further emphasises the Christmas Spirit. This highlights how huge the festive season is to many.