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Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

Name: ___________________________________ Date: __________________


STAVE II: Symbolism – The Light of a Ghost of Christmas Past Ms. Brown Grade 7

Symbolism in the
ghost of Christmas
past’s “looks”: LIGHT
DIRECTIONS: As revealed through our close reading on Dickens’s “looks”
characterization of the Ghost of Christmas Past, light is a reoccurring – and
therefore important - element in the spirit’s physical appearance. Light is also
one of the most common SYMBOLS in literature. So the spirit’s “looks” is
SYMBOLIC. After copying the definition of symbolism, brainstorm what you
think light would symbolize on the three templates below (Hint: think of
common sayings that include “light”: “light at the end of the tunnel,” “a light
in the darkness,” or “this little light of mine / I’m gonna let it shine”).

“Light” appears in multiple features of the ghost’s “looks.” LITERARY DEVICE DEFINITION
Identify the relevant text evidence for each given feature:

Symbolism:
HEAD
BELT
TUNIC
Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

Close Reading to Interpret Symbolism:


“Perhaps Scrooge could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a
special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered.

‘What!’ exclaimed the Ghost, ‘would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give? Is it not
enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains
of years to wear it low upon my brow?’

Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend or any knowledge of having wilfully ‘bonneted’
the Spirit at any period of his life” (33).

1. INTRODUCE & CITE: Based on the excerpt above, what is Scrooge’s “special desire”?

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2. EXPLAIN: What does this “special desire” symbolize?

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3. EXPLAIN: What does the symbolic meaning of Scrooge’s “special desire” tell us about Scrooge?

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