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As Christmas is approaching some of my students want to tackle this beautiful story by Charles Dickens. The vocabulary is always very rich in his books, so I give you some help/translation for the first pages of the book.
1.SUMMARY OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY CHARLES DICKENS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BOOK IN
2.Vocabulary list regarding the reading you can also listen to.
3. Power Point presentation with questions regarding the story.
SUMMARY :Ebeneezer Scrooge’s partner Marley is as dead as a door nail, that’s for sure and Scrooge the old miser is in his counting-house not wanting to have anything to do with Christmas. As usual his employee, Bob Cratchit,is very cold because his employer doesn’t want to spend money on coal. His nephew, Fred, comes to pay his uncle a visit and to wish him merry Christmas and to invite him to his home for Christmas dinner. In answer to this Scrooge is morose and only spits out angrily „Bah! Humbug! He behaves in the same way towards two portly gentlemen who drop by to ask for some money or help for the poor.
In the evening Scrooge takes his melancholy dinner in his usual glum tavern, reads his newspapers and then goes to his gloomy rooms and to bed. When he puts his key in the knocker, this turns into Marley’s face. In the room there is a fire in the grate and spoon and basin are ready, but he can’t see anybody. Everything is very strange when suddenly the bell begins to ring and Marley’s enchained ghost leaps up and tells or warns Scrooge that he is continuously forced and punished to wander around the world to share what he didn’t share with the others but could have shared. Scrooge is informed that he has one last chance to escape the same fate and that therefore three spirits will appear.
The first Ghost represents Christmas Past. The strange phantom looks like a child but also like an old man diminished to a child’s proportions. It takes Scrooge back to the Christmases of his childhood school days, where he meets a lonely child, to his days as an apprentice at the jolly and generous merchant Fezziwig and his engagement with Bell, who left him because he became to absorbed in money and unable to love. Scrooge is very touched by what he sees and sheds tears of regrets.
Scrooge is lying in bed when the bells toll one. He is expecting the second Ghost of Christmas Present. He gets up softly and shuffles to the door and the moment his hand is on the lock he hears a strange voice calling him by hisname. He enters the room which has undergone complete transformation and is full of delicious food and green leaves.
The Ghost of the Present is clothed in one simple deep green robe, bordered with a white fur. Scrooge is being taken to the Cratchit family so he can see how it prepares a miniature feast in the simple house and he also discovers the crippled son, Tiny Tim. This boy is very courageous, kind and humble and warms Scrooge’s heart. and he wants to know whether the boy is going to live.
The Spirit then takes Scrooge also to his nephew’s family or their Christmas celebration which includs singing and playing games such as blind-man’s buff.He is so delighted by what he sees that he wants to stay until the end. As the day passes the spirit is getting older and towards the end of the day he shows Scrooge two starving children. The boy is Ignorance and the girl is Want!
The Ghost of Christmas yet to come takes Scrooge through a sequence of strange scenes concerning an unnamed man’s death. The latter sees a businessman speaking about the riches of the death man and some vagabonds are selling his personal things. One couple even expresses happiness about the man’s death because now they don’t have to pay back a debt.
The Ghost takes him to the churchyard where he sees his own name on the tombstone and is really shocked. He pleads with the Ghost to give him another chance and that he will change his stingy ways, his indifference towards others and celebrate Christmas. He then wakes up in his bed. He looks out of the window and is informed that it is Christmas and because this answer makes him so happy that he asks a boy to go and buy the biggest turkey available at the Poulterer’s. He sends it then to the Cratchit house and attends Fred’s Christmas celebration. Tiny Tim doesn’t die and he treats him as if were his son, gives generous gifts to the poor and treats the other human beings with kindness and understanding.
DISCUSSION: Is money more important or human relationships? Why yes/no
This link leads you to the exellent video version of the story:http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8817517652455175582#
And the following link to the reading / audio or part of stave I of the story.
This is a list of vocabulary or expressions in general we heard in the reading. (From page 9-15 of the book)
|the undertaker||der Leichenbestatter||impresario di pompe funebri|
|the clergyman||der Geistliche||il pastore anglicano|
|the mourner||der Trauernde||chi è in lutto|
|to clutch to scrape moneyto grasp money||festhaltenGeld anhäufen||afferrare/ammucchiare soldi|
|solitary as an oyster||einsam wie eine Auster||solo come un pesce|
|to be wrenching||jemand der sich renkt und windet||qu. che distorce o altera|
|to be self-contained||distanziert||che vive solo per conto suo|
|the country is done for||erledigt sein||essere a terra|
|the wisdom/wise||die Weisheit/weise||la saggezza/saggio|
|as dead as a door nail||so tot, wie ein Nagel||morto come un chiodo stecchito|
|to shrivel||schrumpfen||avvizzire, contrarsi|
|a stiffened gait||ein steifer Gang||una deambulazione irrigidita|
|wiry chin||drahtiges Gesicht||faccia matallica|
|to ice the office||das Büro vereisen||trasformare l’ufficio in ghiaccio|
|hail and sleet pelting rain||Hagel und matschprasselnder Regen||grandine e neve bagnatapioggia intensa|
|no beggar will implore you to bestow sth.on him||kein Bettler wird dich um eine milde Gage bitten||Nessun mendicante ti chiederà per un elemosina|
|the dog wags the tail||der Hund wedelt mit dem Schwanz||il cane scodinzola la coda|
|people wheezing up and down (the street)||die Leute, die die Strasse rauf und runter rannten||gente correndo su e giù|
|flaring candles||leuchtende Kerzen||candele illuminanti|
|What reason do you have to be morose?||Was hast du für einen Grund, um so missmutig zu sein?||Che motivo hai per essere così scorbutico?|
|to be buried with a stake of holly through his heart.||beerdigt werden mit einem Stechpalmenast durch sein Herz||essere sepolto con un ramo d’agrifoglio attraverso il cuore|
|it’s a time to open shut-up hearts||es ist die Zeit, in der man Herzen öffnet||E’ il periodo per aprire i cuori chiusi|
|to keep an eye on sb.Workshheet:Christmas Carol||jd. überwachen||sorvegliare qu.|