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Dickens: A Christmas Carol

9. Stave 2 – Fan, the Fezziwigs and Belle

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In this module, we read the second half of Stave 2 as Scrooge is taken to three more Christmases, focusing in particular on: (i) the figure of Scrooge’s sister, Fan, and her relationship with Scrooge; (ii) the figures of Mr Fezziwig and Dick; (iii) the Christmas party as the Fezziwigs; (iv) further signs of Scrooge’s transformation (“The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune”); (v) the figure of Belle, her family life, and her comments on Scrooge; (vi) Scrooge’s horrified reaction at what he has seen; and (vii) the sense that this might all be in Scrooge’s mind.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In the first module, we introduce the novel by looking at the first two paragraphs of the story, including its famous opening line (“Marley was dead; to begin with”) and the reader’s first impression of the character of Scrooge (“Scrooge's name was good on ‘Change”). In the second and third modules, we go through some of the literary, cultural and historical context for the novel, including Dickens’ life and career up to 1843, the impact of the Industrial Revolution on British society and culture, the ‘invention’ of the ‘traditional, family Christmas’ in this period, and Dickens’ preoccupation with capitalism, poverty and children. In the following twelve modules, we read through the novel stave by stave: the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh modules cover Stave One; the eighth and ninth cover Stave Two; the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth cover Stave Three; the thirteen and fourteenth cover Stave Four; and the fifteenth covers Stave Five.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

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APA style

McRae, J. (2020, March 24). Dickens: A Christmas Carol - Stave 2 – Fan, the Fezziwigs and Belle [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Dickens: A Christmas Carol – Stave 2 – Fan, the Fezziwigs and Belle." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 Mar 2020,