Christmas Carol Quotes

Find some of the best known and a few of the lesser known quotes from Dicken's Christmas Carol that unlock the themes and message of this timeless classic.

Christmas Carol Quotes

Quotes From Stave 1

Conversation between Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge

Famous quotes of the conversation between Marley and Scrooge are listed. Students will practice identifying

There’s more gravy than grave about you.

But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge.

How is it that I appear before you in a shape that you can see, I may not tell. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day.

I am here tonight to warn you, that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring, Ebenezer.

You will be haunted by Three Spirits... Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread.

Expect the first tomorrow when the bell tolls one... Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of twelve has ceased to vibrate.

Quotes From Stave 2

Contrasting Statements

Students contrast the quotes from the visits in Stave 2 to the quotes of his statements in Stave 1.

Simile & Metaphor

There are dozens of similes in every chapter. We look specifically at these:

In came a fiddler with a music-book, and went up to the lofty desk, and made an orchestra of it, and tuned like fifty stomach-aches.

He thought that such another creature, quite as graceful and as full of promise, might have called him father, and been a springtime in the haggard winter of his life

Tone and Mood

These quotes from Stave 2 of the Christmas Carol are analyzed for tone and mood:

In they all came, one after another; some shyly, some boldly, some gracefully, some awkwardly, some pushing, some pulling, in they all came, anyhow and everyhow.

There were more dancers, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer.

As to her (Mrs. Fezziwig), she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. If that’s not high praise, tell me higher, and I’ll use it.

Quotes From Stave 3


Spirit: “Have (you) never walked forth with the younger members of my family, meaning my elder brothers born in these later years?”
Scrooge: “I don’t think I have. I am afraid I have not. Have you had many brothers, Spirit?”
Spirit: “More than eighteen hundred.”
Scrooge: “A tremendous family to provide for.”


Scrooge: Spirit, I wonder you, of all the beings in the many worlds about us, should desire to cramp these people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment.
Spirit: I?
Scrooge: You would deprive them of their only means of dining every seventh day, often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all.
Spirit: I?
Scrooge: You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day? And it comes to the same thing.
Spirit: I seek?
Scrooge: Forgive me if I am wrong. It has been done in your name, or at least in that of your family.
Spirit: There are some upon this earth of yours who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strangers to us and all our kith and kin.

Similes and other Literary Elements

This single sentence is analyzed not only as a simile, but also for imagery, anthropomorphism, alliteration and consonance:

There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence.

The term "apoplectic opulence" is discussed as a form of an oxymoron.

Other Similes & Metaphors

There were ruddy, brown-faced, broad-girthed Spanish Onions, shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars, and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by.

Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!

Quotes From Stave 4

Let's listen to the conversation of the crew at the beetling shop to pick up words that indicate attitude and/or colloquial speech.

Quotes From Stave 5

Scrooge's Personality & Reputation

Stave 1: Scrooge signed it and Scrooge’s name was good upon the ‘Change for anything he put his hand to.

Stave 1: Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone. Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner.

Stave 5: He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew.

Stave 5: Some people laughed to see the alteration in him; but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed, and that was quite enough for him.

Stave 5: It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.

Christmas Carol Poster

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Our Christmas Carol Pages

Fun facts, great quotes, vocabulary words, and extra resources

Facts and History Scroggie's Tombstone
Curious facts and the history behind Dicken's famous tale
Chapter Lesson Plans Christmas Carol Lesson Plans
Chapter by chapter summaries, outline, and teaching plans
Quotes Christmas Carol Quotes
Great quotes and what they reveal
Vocabulary Christmas Carol Vocabulary
Perfect lists with chapter-by-chapter words and definitions

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