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6. Stave 1 – Scrooge Goes Home
About this Lecture
In this module, we continue to read Stave One as Scrooge makes his way from the counting-house and heads home for the evening. In particular, we focus on: (i) Dickens’ description of London are people from across the city get ready for Christmas – the “party of ragged men and boys” warming their hands before a fire, the Lord Mayor “in the stronghold of the mighty Mansion House”, etc.; (ii) the carol singer that comes to the counting house … before seeing Scrooge and fleeing in terror; (iii) Bob Cratchit’s request for a day off – and Scrooge’s begrudging approval ("A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!"); (iv) Scrooge’s house, which used to belong to Marley (“He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner”); and (v) the door-knocker that changes – for a moment – into Marley’s face. Spooky!
In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In the first module, we introduce the novel by looking at the first two paragraphs of the story, including its famous opening line (“Marley was dead; to begin with”) and the reader’s first impression of the character of Scrooge (“Scrooge's name was good on ‘Change”). In the second and third modules, we go through some of the literary, cultural and historical context for the novel, including Dickens’ life and career up to 1843, the impact of the Industrial Revolution on British society and culture, the ‘invention’ of the ‘traditional, family Christmas’ in this period, and Dickens’ preoccupation with capitalism, poverty and children. In the following twelve modules, we read through the novel stave by stave: the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh modules cover Stave One; the eighth and ninth cover Stave Two; the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth cover Stave Three; the thirteen and fourteenth cover Stave Four; and the fifteenth covers Stave Five.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
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Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2020, March 24). Dickens: A Christmas Carol - Stave 1 – Scrooge Goes Home [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/dickens-a-christmas-carol-mcrae/stave-1-scrooge-goes-home
McRae, J. "Dickens: A Christmas Carol – Stave 1 – Scrooge Goes Home." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 Mar 2020, https://massolit.io/courses/dickens-a-christmas-carol-mcrae/stave-1-scrooge-goes-home