A Christmas Carol: Play And Novella - Crean Lutheran High School - Essay

917 words - 4 pages

A Christmas Carol​: The Novella Versus The Play
The novella ​A Christmas Carol​, written​ ​by Charles Dickens, and the play ​A Christmas
Carol,​ directed by John David Keller and adapted by Jerry Patch, are both works that have the
same plot of the Christmas experiences of a grumpy man named Scrooge. The play is the
adapted version of the original novella.. Like nearly all adaptations, although the novella and the
play share the same plot, there are many contrasting elements and many that were left the same
during the process of the adaptation. These similarities and differences were evident in the
exclusion of scenes, depiction of characters, and the overall entertainment.
To begin with, an appreciable difference between the novella and the play arethe scenes
chosen to be used. Upon Scrooge’s experience with the Ghost of Christmas Present, the ghost
takes Scrooge to visit several places. For instance, Scrooge is taken to a location described as a
place “built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore, on which the
waters chafed and dashed, the wild year through, there stood a solitary lighthouse. Great heaps of
sea-weed clung to its base, and storm-birds -- born of the wind one might suppose, as sea-weed
of the water -- rose and fell about it, like the waves they skimmed” (Dickens Stave 3). Simply
put, Scrooge visits a lighthouse. Although the novella thoroughly explains the setting of the
lighthouse, the play completely ignores the lighthouse scene and does not make any mention of
it. Similar to how the lighthouse scene is ignored, the scene of Scrooge’s visit to “a place where
Miners live, who labour in the bowels of the earth” (Dickens Stave 3), is also dismissed. Instead,
the play skips to the scenes of the Christmas party of Scrooge’s nephew and Christmas at the
Cratchit household. To conclude, the scenes of the lighthouse and the miners, from the novella,
was absent from the play.
Moving on, the way the main character is depicted in both the novella and the play are
quite different in some aspects. Scrooge is definitely described as a grumpy, greedy businessman
in both works, but the message that he was a grumpy, greedy businessman was conveyed
differently. In the novella, the narrator states that Scrooge does not care about being greeted by
others and in fact, “it was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of
life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance” (Dickens Stave 1). This indirect
characterization of Scrooge reveals that Scrooge is antisocial and the readers know that from the
beginning. Similarly, the play also lets the audience know that Scrooge is antisocial and
inconsiderate from the beginning. However, in contrast...

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