A Christmas Carol

Movement Within the Episodes

Like Christmas morning itself - when each present represents a discrete mystery, separate from the last - the Christmas Carol is divided into a set of episodes. The book's chapters are episodic, with the duration of each spirit a single episode. Within each chapter, there a number of discrete scenes that can be considered separately, and called episodes. While the division into episodes becomes predictable, the way Scrooge and the ghost physically move between these intra-chapter episodes is not predictable. One example of such movement occurs when the present spirit and Scrooge travel from the miner's village to a lighthouse over a "frightful range of rocks" and "a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore" on their way to the lighthouse (56). In this case the movement is very prominent; both we and Scrooge are aware of the movement. In each chapter the prominence of this inter-episode movement is consistent within the chapter, but different than in other chapters.

The most fundamental difference is between the prominence of the inter-episode movement in the future on one hand, and the present and past on the other. In the past, Scrooge and the spirit "left the high-road, by a...

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