Writing a character analysis of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens

‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens is famous for its story line and narration. If you are an English literature student, you will most probably be learning Dickens’ works in detail. You will be writing research papers and essays on his works and his life. And ‘A Christmas Carol’ is one work which you might enjoy doing your literature essay on.

This book is rich for the depth of its characters. The story begins on a Christmas Eve. The first character whom we are introduced to is Jacob Marley, whose introduction comes to us through the confirmation of his death. We don’t learn much about his character or his past here.

Soon after the announcement of Jacob Marley’s death, which was supposed to have happened seven years before the day the play starts, we meet the central character of the play – Ebenezer Scrooge. His mean character and miserly nature is explained by how, even on the Christmas Eve he is making his assistant work late without even agreeing to spend on coal to light the fire.

We also meet Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, who is a good natured young fellow who drops in to wish Scrooge a Merry Christmas but is chased away by the bitter old man.

That night, when Scrooge gets back to his apartment, he is visited by the ghost of his partner – Jacob Marley. He is portrayed as bound in heavy chains. The ghost confesses that he has been punished for the bad life he led and has been wandering the earth dragging the heavy chains along.

The conversation between Scrooge and Marley reveals a lot about the kind of person Marley was while he was alive. By the time the ghost of Marley disappears, Scrooge and the readers have been warned about the visits of the three ghosts which were to happen soon.

The first spirit has the appearance of a child. He announces himself as the ghost of the Christmas past and takes Scrooge along on a journey of his own past. The next to come is the ghost of Christmas present followed by the ghost of Christmas that was yet to come.

The appearance and demeanor of each of these ghosts is symbolic and is to be studied carefully in detail. During the short tours with these three spirits we meet a lot of other characters who were, are or would be, related to Scrooge. And you will find that each of these characters have contributed to the basic story line.

It is important that you don’t miss out on any characters while doing a character analysis of the story. But if you were to elaborate on each of the characters, you will find that your essay will not stay within the given limit. So you have to do a precise but effective analysis of the characters which are not present in the central plot and leave the rest of the space to the main characters.

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