How Does Scrooge Change in A Christmas Carol
A Christmas carol is a moral story and focuses upon the redemption of the most hardened miser Ebeneezer Scrooge. In stave one he is presented as selfish, rude, angry and lonely. 'Warning all human sympathy to keep its distance.' he is thoroughly dislikeable. Through the attentions of Marley's ghost and the journey Scrooge takes through the past present and future Scrooge changes and becomes likable. He recovers his sense of joy in the world and this transforms all aspects of his life. How he reacts to people how he reacts to his setting, to Christmas and how he spends his money. It is a miraculous transformation. Dickens is saying that no matter how cruel, hard, old, bitter and unpleasant you are there is good in you and you can change.
The idea of Scrooge’s change is born from the first ghost appearance that I consider to be a deus ex machina the dramatic and unrealistic plot only emphasises Scrooge’s humanity throughout the novel. Scrooge’s change can be observed through Bob Cratchit as Cratchit is foil to Scrooge his happiness and love for Christmas make’s scrooge’s coldness more visible.
In ‘A Christmas carol’ Dickens shows scrooge as an evil, nasty man by using a long list of adjectives, he’s described with this sentence Oh! But he was a tight fisted hand at the grindstone, scrooge! A
squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and as solitary as an oyster” These vivid verbs imply that Scrooge is violent and aggressive.
Another way to show this is the way he talks to people, e.g. when his nephew invites him to his Christmas party but he turns him down and calls Christmas a ‘Humbug!’ and even worse, when two charity workers ask him for a donation for the poor children, he says send them to the work houses, if they would rather die they better do it, and decrease the surplus population. This shows how much of a cold hearted, covetous sinner he is. Dickens makes us feel like he’s an evil man, he’s selfish and says he’d rather the children die than donate his money to charity.
When the ghost of Marley visited scrooge in the night, he was shocked, he first saw Marley’s face as the doorknob, then he was frightened further when the ghost of Marley opened the door from the outside when it was locked from the inside and entered the room covered in chains and locks. He warned scrooge that he would be visited in the night by three spirits, one for Christmas past, present and future. They would show him the terrible things he’s done, doing and will do on Christmas day. If he doesn’t change his ways then he will suffer the same fate that Marley did.
The ghost of Christmas past took scrooge to the place where he grew up the ghost of Christmas past is symbolic enlightenment and truth and this is why he brings Scrooge back to his boarding school to show him a solitary child neglected by his friends, he was reflecting upon himself as he sobbed. This shows that Scrooge has emotion therefore symbolising a change in his vice and vigorously described cape to his true inner self. This ghost had showed Scrooge himself in the past as a lonely young boy reading alone in the school, the feelings he had completely changed him and as signs in his cold heart began to thaw and his inner being revealed. The truth behind Scrooge’s anguish lies within his past, this is why the ghost of Christmas past is important in Scrooge’s change.