Trivia Quiz for “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

Trivia Quiz for A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 12/13/20

A. Ebeneezer Scrooge et al.: Dickensian characters par excellence

1. At the beginning of A Christmas Carol, the narrator informs us that Scrooge is all but one of the following. Which is not a trait shared by the first Scrooge?

a. hard and sharp as flint                    

b. secret and self-contained

c. solitary as an oyster                       

d. a grating voice                   

e. dressed “all in his best”

2. The adult Scrooge had one friend in the world: his business partner, Jacob Marley. Unfortunately, however, Marley has died. How long ago did Jacob Marley die?

a. last week                

b. seven years ago      

c. last year      

d. yesterday

3. In his initial encounter with his nephew, Scrooge belittles those who celebrate Christmas for all but one of the following reasons. Which reason is not in the story?

a. they live in a world of fools                       

b. they worship the birth of Jesus Christ

c. they find themselves a year older              

d. they have to pay their bills without money

4. In contrast, his nephew describes Christmastime differently. Identify which phrase is not voiced by Scrooge’s nephew in describing the season, in the early scene:

a. it is a time due veneration, given its sacred name and origin

b. it is a time to clean house and wash everything

c. it is the only time, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures

d. it is a time that makes people feel good, despite the cost

B. Darkness and light: significant symbols

5. Which of the following is not in A Christmas Carol?

a. The opening scene takes place during a gloomy, foggy cold night

b. The last scene takes place on a day described as: “clear, bright, jovial, stirring, cold” with “Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air”.

c. The hair of Tiny Tim is described as “golden floss, glowing like a halo”

C. The Three Spirits.  Match the descriptions below to the supernatural characters

The characters include:  a. Ghost of Christmas Present; b. Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come; c. Ghost of Christmas Past


6. “It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand.”

7. “It was a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man… its hair was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle on it… from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light.”        

8. “Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard, but no Sword was in it, and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.   … Notwithstanding its gigantic size, he could accommodate himself to any place with ease.”

D. The Women of A Christmas Carol: Cynics or Sages?

9. Mrs. Cratchit, like Scrooge’s niece by marriage and the charwomen, refuse to honor Scrooge. The narrator, in describing their dislike for the man, seems to :

a. Excuse the behavior, with a proverb: “Bless those women; they never do anything by halves. They are always in earnest.”

b. Condemn the behavior, by mentioning: “What then? If she be like to die, she had better to do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

c. Accept the behavior, with the note: “Every person has a right to take care of themselves. He always did.”

E. History and Language

10. Which of the following details, signaling the historical situation of London in 1843, do not exist in A Christmas Carol?

a. people cook their meals in the oven at the local bakery, for lack of proper equipment at home

b. people roast chestnuts on the fire

c. people enjoy a pudding that “smells like washing day” when its cloth is unwrapped

d. people have pillow fights in the street on Christmas morning

11. Why did Charles Dickens use the word staves instead of chapters?

a. to indicate that each section is another board making up the walls of Scrooge’s prison, since a “stave” means a narrow strip of wood or iron plate, which when placed edge to edge form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel (such as a barrel) or structure.

b. to signify that the novel was a carol in prose form, because in music a “stave” is the five lines and four spaces between them on which musical notes are written.


1. e.

2. b.

3. b.

4. b.

5. c.

6.  b. This description (“It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head”) pertains to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

7. c. The Ghost of Christmas Past is portrayed as “It was a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man.”

8. a. The Ghost of Christmas Present is depicted as: “Notwithstanding its gigantic size, he could accommodate himself to any place with ease.”

9. c.

10. d.

11. b.