Role-play : A Christmas Carol by C. Dickens
Moderatore: A Pasini
6 dicembre 2002 (0re 9.00 -11.00)

What's happening in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland, in Santa's home these days?
Santa Claus is very busy, as you imagine, and he is talking with La Befana because he has to write the Good and Bad list.
But there is a problem: what about Ebenezer Scrooge? Was he nice or naughty? La Befana says he was bad, but Father Xmas doesn't agree. So she decides to tell Santa all the story about Scrooge.
Please, help me! I'm La Befana! We have to explain Scrooge's ghostly adventures to Santa... can you help me?
By the way, do you all know the story?

Xmas Eve, London, 1843...
It's very cold, the fog is thick; there is smoke coming from coal fires and white snow in the streets...
It's 3 o'clock p.m., but it's very dark...
Children are singing joyful carols...

"Xmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please put a penny, in the old man's hat"

Everybody is happy: tomorrow is Xmas!!
BUT...an old man is walking through the fog and the crowd: his eyes are red; his lips are blue; he has a pointed nose in a wrinkled face. Somebody says: " Look at Ebenezer SCROOGE! He is a secret man, unfriendly and alone!"
Scrooge is a businessman; his company's name is "Scrooge and Marley".
He is in his office now: there is his clerk, Bob Cratchit, who is copying letters in a dark, little room with a very small fire and a single candle.
"Merry Xmas, Uncle Scrooge!" says a happy voice. Fred, Scrooge's nephew, comes in.
"Xmas is a humbug!" answers Scrooge.
This is the truth: Scrooge thinks Xmas is a stupid, useless holiday, so he doesn't celebrate it and he never gives money for the poor.
Can this man change his character in the future?
In the meantime, four ghosts will appear in his bedroom that night...
and we know Scrooge will walk and fly with them: he'll see Xmas when he was a child and his sister loved him; he'll go to Cratchit's house and see how poor but happy they are; he'll also see his nephew's family that are playing games and laughing at him; finally, he'll see a man dying alone...and a grave...his own grave!
On Xmas day the housekeeper went into Scrooge's room: there was only a letter in which he wrote that...
Has Scrooge become a good man or he has disappeared forever?
Santa must know the truth!!

Characters

E. Scrooge: he is selfish, mean, "solitary as an oyster", he lives for money
Jacob Marley's ghost: he was "a good man of business"; now a long chain (with cash-boxes, keys, account books) surrounds his transparent body
Fred, Scrooge's nephew: cheerful, demonstrative, kind and sensitive
Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's clerk: poor, humble, hard-working, warm, very affectionate towards his family
Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit's son: he is a very small and tender boy; unfortunately, he is a cripple and walks with iron crutches
The Ghost of Xmas Past: a strange figure; the hair is white, the face is young, he has a holly in his hand and he is dressed in white ("how past experiences make what we are")
The Ghost of Xmas Present: he is a happy giant with kind eyes; he is dressed in a long green coat; he has long brown hair ("we often miss a lot of opportunities to care for others that surround us")
The Ghost of Xmas Yet to Come: he is tall, dressed in long, black clothes; you can't see his face or body ("our fear of the future; the future is what we make of it")
Father Xmas: you know him very well, don't you?

and La Befana!!

Materials

Santa's House (go inside, click on the door; click also on the red book...)
http://www.santaclausplaza.com/english/index.html

Texts online
http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/DicChri.html
http://www.stormfax.com/dickens.htm

A Christmas Carol by C. Dickens ("the Dickens Page")
(see also the original volume and the old illustrations in the book)
http://www.fidnet.com/~dap1955/dickens/carol.html

Dickens and Christmas and
The many faces of Scrooge
http://www.fidnet.com/~dap1955/dickens/christmas.html

A Study Guide
http://dickensfordummies.homestead.com/carol.html

Dickens London (interactive map with link quoted in the story) http://www.fidnet.com/~dap1955/dickens/dickens_london_map.html

Christmas Carol eCards to send
http://www.perryweb.com/Dickens/cards_carol.shtml

Movie adaptations
http://turnerlearning.com/tntlearning/christmascarol/characters.html
http://www.dickensachristmascarol.com/movie_gallery.html

The Dickens House Museum in London
http://www.dickensmuseum.com/

The first Xmas Card
http://www.victoriana.com/christmas/card1st-99.htm
A Victorian Xmas Card

http://www.scrapalbum.com/vxhome.htm
The Victorian Xmas tree
http://www.victoriana.com/christmas/tree-99.htm
Listen to Santa's Xmas Carols
http://www.the-north-pole.com/carols/index.htm

OTHER LINKS TO CHARLES DICKENS