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Examine the presentation of the three spirits and Marley's ghost in "A Christmas carol" and show the differences and similarities in their appearance, attitude towards Scrooge and the effect upon him. Consider also the spectre in "The Signalman".

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Introduction

Examine the presentation of the three spirits and Marley's ghost in "A Christmas carol" and show the differences and similarities in their appearance, attitude towards Scrooge and the effect upon him. Consider also the spectre in "The Signalman" In a Christmas carol by Charles Dickens, the four ghosts are all described differently. They all help to change scrooge into a nicer person. The ghosts all act disparately and look disparately. Scrooge has a different effect on each one of the ghosts, two of the ghosts he likes and one of the ghosts he dislikes. Scrooge is also treated dissimilar, some ghosts care for him, and others are forceful. The ghost of Marley appears first, he is described as 'In his pigtail, usual waistcoat, tights and boots; the tassels on the latter bristling, like his pigtail, and his coat-skirts, and the hair upon his head.' Marley also had a chain around his middle, which was long and wound about him like a tail. The chain was made of cash boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deed and heavy purses wrought in steel. Marleys body was transparent, so Scrooge could see the 2 buttons on his coat behind. He also had a handkerchief wrapped around his head and chin which held his jaw up. The ghost of Christmas past turns up next. ...read more.

Middle

'But the relentless ghost pinched him in both arms and forced him to observe what happened next.' The ghost of Christmas present is a kind and jolly ghost. The ghost and Scrooge were cheerful when they visited homes. 'The spirit stood besides sickbeds, and they were cheerful and they were patient in their greater hope, by poverty and it was rich.' The ghost makes Scrooge more relaxed around him, he isn't frightened, and he is calm in the ghost's presence. Like the ghost of Christmas past, this spirit is also forceful and makes him see what he doesn't want to see. The ghost of Christmas yet to come doesn't speak at all, this ghost is the one Scrooge is scared of most. 'Scrooge feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him, and he found that he could hardly stand when he prepared to follow it.' Scrooge is frightened of him the most because he doesn't know what his personality is like; with the other ghosts they were kind and caring. This ghost just points to places. But when Scrooge saw his grave then he got worried and cried 'hear me! I am not the man I was, I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this if I am past all hope?' ...read more.

Conclusion

In The Signalman by Charles Dickens, the narrator thought that the spectre was strange. The signalman first thought the spectre was the narrator, because they both cried 'Halloa! Below there.' This makes the narrator curious to find out whom this spectre is, he wonders why he shouted the same words he did. Then at the end of the story when the signalman is killed by a train, he talks to the man who warned the signalman, the man said he was shouting 'Below there; look out! For gods sake, clear the way!' This haunts the narrator and he wonders whether it was a coincidence or not. The three spirits tried to change Scrooge into a better person, by showing scenes from his past, present and future. Scrooge realised how nasty and selfish he was, when looking through the window at Bob Cratchits house, seeing Bobs crippled son and the small amount of food they eat. The ghosts make Scrooge feel guilty and he changes into a better man. The three ghosts changed Scrooges view on Christmas and now he loves it. The moral of this story is to treat people the way you would want to be treated, not being nasty and selfish all the time like Scrooge, but having fun and being kind to each other. Also people who read this story, could change into a better person, they might realise they are like Scrooge and they will change. ...read more.

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