I’m actually pleased to read this again and outside of the Christmas holiday. Of course the lessons within the story are just as present and effective now as ever. But it was fun to analyze this for the Ghost story aspect.
My favorite element of the ghost story in A Christmas Carol is that no only do we have the spirits of past, present, and future, but Scrooge becomes a ghost to haunt those other times. It’s the best of ghost stories and Lovely Bones mashed together.
Including this story in with the required readings just drives home one of Scott’s points from the beginning of the class. We were asked to talk about what makes a ghost story for us and most of us fell into the trap of saying it had to be scary. A Christmas Carol is not scary to the reader. At least not thriller scary. You could argue that it is morally frightening for Scrooge and the reader because that’s the point. But being afraid because a ghost is haunting you? No, that wasn’t the point of the book. But it is a great end to the course of readings. Ghost stories are another facet of genre fiction that can be used to teach a moral. That’s how I would write ghost stories.