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English Literature   >   Dickens: A Christmas Carol


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Dickens: A Christmas Carol

In this course, Professor John Bowen (University of York) explores Charles Dickens' 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol. The course begins with a general introduction to the book, which shows that it is funnier, wilder and much stranger than the many adaptations of the novel would have us believe. After that, in the second module, we think about the use of the time in the novel, focusing in particular on the timing of the novel ('Once upon a time… on Christmas eve') and the ability for Scrooge to travel through time to confront his past, present and future. In the third module, we think about what kind of book A Christmas Carol is – a fable? a fairy-tale? A Christian parable? – before turning in the fourth module to the figure of Scrooge himself – a contemporary figure, a comic figure at times – but why is he so hostile to family? In the fifth module, we think about sight and sound in the novel, about what is seen and not seen, and about what is heard and not heard.


In this module, we provide an introduction to Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a novel which is funnier, wilder and much stranger than many of its adaptations would lead one to believe. In particular, we focus on some of the more hard-hitting encounters between Scrooge and one of the many ghosts in the book, as well as the pain and grief that Scrooge suffers when forced to confront the kind of man he has been, he is now, and will be in the future – unless he can change.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bowen, J. (2018, August 15). Dickens: A Christmas Carol - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bowen, J. "Dickens: A Christmas Carol – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. John Bowen

Prof. John Bowen

York University