Gems for the classroom #5 – Gabriel Grub

One of the things I enjoy most about Christmas is the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

I like it because there’s a musical film starring Albert Finney which adds a further layer of irony and dark humour over the top of an already superb story. There’s a wonderful and heavily ironic song sang by Anton Rogers, called “Thank you very much”

There is a superb writing opportunity here:


The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (Dickens’ first novel) often referred to simply as the Pickwick Papers was published in serial form.  Chapter 29 contains the story of a rather repugnant character called Gabriel Grub.


It’s fair to say that Dickens reworked that chapter to become the character Scrooge – he is the same but different.   Similar phrases are used to describe his character.  I remember my class being fascinated by the concept of repurposing original ideas they had used before.


Arguably the majesty of JK Rowling is not just in the original ideas she developed, but also the ingenious way she repurposed the tales of her youth to add depth.


Imagine a situation where children work up character descriptions and add them to a bank of characters that they draw upon in later years.


Here’s a site explaining some of the links and similarities.


There’s also a theory that the whole thing is a repurposing of a Dutch folk tale, but I’ll leave you to dig into that one yourself.


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