Plot Synopsis for A Christmas Carol
Plot Synopsis for A Christmas CarolBy Charles Dickens, Adapted by Adrian Hall & Richard CummingThe play begins with the author, Charles Dickens, visiting Rhode Island in 1868. He meets manylocal children, and begins to tell them the story of A Christmas Carol.We see his characters come to life. First, we learn about Ebenezer Scrooge and his partner JacobMarley. It is Christmas Eve 1861, and they are in their office counting money. Suddenly, JacobMarley dies of a heart attack. Scrooge does not help him. Fast forward to the present time, andScrooge is working at his office on a cold, snowy Christmas Eve, along with his clerk, Bob Cratchit.Two men come into the office and ask Scrooge to make a donation for people in need. Scroogepoints out that he already supports prisons and workhouses through his taxes and refuses to giveany more money. Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, comes into the office and invites Scrooge to haveChristmas dinner with him and his wife. Scrooge tells him to go away and take his Christmas spiritwith him. After resentfully granting Cratchit Christmas day off, Scrooge goes out, but not before agroup of children comes in singing Christmas carols. Scrooge angrily chases them out the door aswell.When he walks home from his office, he starts to hear and see signs of his now-deceased partner,Jacob Marley. He is scared but convinces himself that it was just his imagination. Once in his home,Mrs. Partlet, his maid, brings Scrooge his gruel (oatmeal). Once she leaves, suddenly the bells in thehouse begin to chime in unison and Scrooge hears strange sounds. The ghost of Jacob Marleyappears, covered with chains. Marley warns Scrooge that three more spirits (ghosts) will visit himbefore the night is over, and Scrooge must listen to them if he wants to change his fate.At one o’clock, the Ghost of Christmas Past appears. The spirit shows Scrooge his own lonelychildhood and his sister Fan, who was his only friend. Then Scrooge watches himself as a happyyoung man at a Christmas party with Mr. Fezziwig, his first employer. Finally, the spirit shows himthe moment when Scrooge’s fiancée, Belle, left him because he cared more about money thanabout her.As the clock strikes two a.m., the second spirit, The Ghost of Christmas Present, arrives and whisksScrooge off to his nephew’s house where everyone is playing games and making fun of Scrooge.The ghost also shows him Bob Cratchit’s tiny home on Christmas Day. Cratchit proposes a toast toScrooge’s health, but the rest of the family makes several remarks about how stingy and meanScrooge is. The ghost tells Scrooge that unless the future changes, Tiny Tim will die.The clock strikes three a.m., and the third spirit is played by a young child that does not speak butScrooge guesses correctly that he is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Future). The spirit showshim several conversations in which people are discussing the death of a lonely old miser. The spiritbrings Scrooge to a pawnshop where the dead man’s clothes and household items are being soldwhile he lies dead and alone. Finally, the ghost brings Scrooge to his own tombstone, and herealizes that the lonely man whose death is being celebrated rather than mourned is himself.