We are studying the novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens the storyline is about a man called Ebenezer Scrooge who is described by Dickens to be always a "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" throughout the novella Scrooges meets with a complete of four ghosts who's existence' purpose is to get Scrooge to improve into a better person and save him from a terrible fate that Scrooge's perhaps only friend is experiencing. The idea of three main ghosts could be reflected in the Christian belief in the Holy Trinity that most people in Dickens's time would know and would perhaps relate to this.
Scrooge meets his friend Jacob Marley first who foretells the coming of three other ghosts who would give Scrooge a "the opportunity and hope of escaping [Jacob's] fate" Dickens finishes this first stave with Scrooge "[trying] to state "Humbug!" but stopped at the first syllable" this seems to indicate the precise moment of which Scrooges transformation starts to occur.
Jacob Marley seems to symbolise Scrooge's life as they lived in very similar ways and were partners both sought profit at any expense including other peoples, Jacob Marley is an example for Scrooge so that he can easily see what will happen if he doesn't change however Jacob Marley's purpose in the first stanza is never to show Scrooge exactly what will happen to him it is to get Scrooge to believe and also to at least make an effort to learn and show improvement at first Jacob has a lot of trouble convincing Scrooge that he is real aside from wanting to have him clean up his act Scrooge truly will not want to believe Jacob to be back as well as plainly not believing it he tries to convince himself by claiming Jacob to be "An undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard [or] a crumb of cheeseThere's more of gravy than of grave about you. " The reader can tell however that none of these scenarios are possible as Scrooge at this point would not treat himself to mustard or cheese. Scrooge's reaction however is understandable for someone who has a sizable income who believes they understand the world then the Spirit of his only friend who he knew to be dead and also to never be returning. This desire not to believe appears to run so deep that Scrooge would "doubt his own senses" by which I mean that he will not even acknowledge what's sitting in front of him.
Throughout this first stanza Dickens's is apparently by using a tennis metaphor being that earlier in the stanza Scrooge feels as though he has an advantage over everyone but when he meets Jacob Marley he's seriously challenged and towards the middle of there face they reach a stalemate or "deuce" however as they progress through there talk Jacob seems to get the advantage over Scrooge
The spirit truly provides the better of him when it starts to "cry and [shake] its chain" I think that Scrooge need to physically go through the ghost for him to believe it this truly has opened Scrooge up for attack Scrooge even begs the spirit once and for all news showing genuine belief in him and trust that what Jacob said was true even if he did not like that which was said.
The need for this stanza had not been to show Scrooge what to do but to open his mind and get some response from him and use whatever trust Scrooge had in Jacob to full affect and help Scrooge make the choice which may save his soul. In the stanza they went over what the ghost would simply tell him very generally however it main purpose was always convince Scrooge to trust the ghost's lessons.
Next Scrooge meets the ghost of Christmas Past. The Ghost of Christmas Past is a personification of Scrooges memory and past this perhaps is the reason why the spirit is portrayed as a child as it symbolises Scrooge's innocence as a kid, a spirit whose duty is to show Scrooge what has happened to him in his life at The holiday season. First they visit Scrooges childhood to see him all alone spending the Christmas holidays at school The Ghost then presents a vision of any later Christmas to Scrooge. Young Scrooge continues to be alone in the schoolhouse, which includes grown darker and dirtier however his younger sister Fan finds him and brings him home with her. The ghost then takes Scrooge to the city which is bustling with activity getting ready to close for Christmas Scrooge is shown Mr Fezziwig's warehouse which younger Scrooge and another apprentice Dick are closing getting ready for a Christmas Dance later finally the ghost shows Scrooge two people himself when he was younger and his old girlfriend who seems to be mourning not mourning a death but the death of there relationship as it seemed that Scrooge has changed from a kind-at-heart son into a man that seeks only wealth and assets Scrooges is very upset at seeing himself act this way which appears to indicate that as Scrooge is regretting his transformation is occurring here.
At Scrooge's childhood town he sees many children rushing home for Christmas and he seems all to happy to see his childhood friends however the ghost of Christmas Past reminds him that not all the children went home. Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past visit the school where Scrooge is sitting alone we the reader begin to wonder if Scrooges tenancy in later life to stay away from people is his own choice or whether it's because he was raised this way. We do find however that Scrooge is not completely alone as he has created imaginary friends out of characters in books which he reads to pass the time his friends include Ali Baba (from Arabian Nights which consequently was one of Dickens' favourite books which he often associated with Christmas) and Robinson Crusoe (from Robinson Crusoe which was also associated with Christmas as it was a typical present to share with boys at Christmas in Dickens' time) we do have a pity party for Scrooge who is in isolation no person to seriously talk or even look after him properly
Later we find Scrooge in the same place however he's slightly older now and we assume that after these many years of solitude Scrooge has grown like the building he's in "just a little darker" he is broken out of his musing when his little sister Fan runs in a hugs him she claims that she actually is taking Scrooge home which there father who had before sent them away was "much kinder than he used to be" she even goes so far as comparing it to "heaven. " Scrooges father can be an interesting character as he's easily much like Scrooge himself before the start of his transformation, they are both cruel Dickens perhaps uses this to prepare us for a change in Scrooge who may change like his father did.
Scrooge then visits his old workplace when he used to help Mr Fezziwig as an apprentice, he watches as his old employer tells Scrooge and his fellow apprentice Dick Wilkins to stop working also to find the warehouse ready for a Christmas party that was to be occurring soon young Scrooge and Dick quickly clear the room and the area quickly fills Dickens describes "the great aftereffect of the evening" being when Fezziwig himself starts dancing along with his wife. The ghost undertake Scrooges old out look on life and openly mocks Fezziwig's generosity and asks why Fezziwig deserves such praise when "he has spent but several pounds of your mortal money" this seems as a means of saying to Scrooge that you cant buy happiness he gets a reaction though that "It is not [the money]he gets the power to render [his employees] happy or unhappy" or "make [their] service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. " This sparks the idea that perhaps he shouldn't have been so cruel to his clerk as well as perhaps a bit similar to Mr Fezziwig.
Scrooge is shown himself with his old girlfriend who is grieving as she know they must break up as Scrooge watches this scene he begs that he not be shown any longer Scrooge is forced to accept the mistakes he has made in his life he sees that because of his mindset among the best things that has ever happened to him was lost forever.
Finally Scrooge is shown his once fiance who now has children of her own and another husband he responds in anger when he hears the particular husbands must say
However he cannot deny his past any more and for the very first time in his life he truly understands his past and what it did to his life.
The theme of the stave seems to have been regret, Scrooge has seen all the has happened to him before and things that truly meant the most an alteration him are things that cause him to regret for example seeing his old employer made him regret his treatment of his own employee and seeing himself as a kid appears to make him regret his treatment of the carollers as well as his biggest regret which is something he cannot change how he lost his fiance to his infatuation with money and assets.
At the beginning of Stave three Scrooge prepares himself for his ending up in the Ghost of Christmas Present at this point Scrooge feels that "nothing between your baby and a rhinoceros would have astonished him quite definitely. " however at the designated time Scrooge does not meet with the ghost he waits but finally when nothing comes he decides to research the "ghostly light" that was shining from the next room into his inside Scrooge finds a man who its seems is large in all things from his height to how big is his heart the person is sitting over a throne manufactured from food and he's surrounded by warmth and Christmas cheer this room is seen to be the entire opposite of Scrooge and he seems to really wish to learn from this ghost as he looks after him "reverently" when the spirit asks whether Scrooge has ever seen so on of him before Scrooge answers that he has "Never" as this ghost seems to be the personification of giving and generosity Scrooges answer seems to indicate to us the reader that he has never been truly generous.
Even when speaking with the ghost we can easily see that Scrooges transformation hasn't quite fully occurred yet as he appears to show concern over how difficult it might be to "provide" for a family of eighteen hundred.
Another exemplory case of Scrooges past self showing is that he doesn't quite realize why others deserve of the ghosts Christmas cheer he wonders why even though Bob gets "but fifteen copies of his Christian name; yet the ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four bedroom house!" He cannot seem to understand at the idea that the poor get things because they want them.
Scrooge is taken up to start to see the Cratchits who've very little however they are happy with it and are happy to just be together at the moment unlike Scrooge who might have very much but prefers to remain isolated. Despite Scrooges treatment of Bob Cratchit he still wishes Scrooge good health insurance and his family reductively toast him as well.
The ghost takes Scrooge around and they visit many people however the key theme with all the people they see is they are poor and unfortunate however they have the ability to stay positive and happy despite unfortunate circumstances.
Finally Scrooge is taken to his Nephew's where in fact the party Scrooge was previously invited to is underway all of them are laughing at Scrooges expense after he called Christmas a "humbug" they play a number of games which Scrooge sees and he realises what he's passing up on he regrets not taking Fred through to his offer. By the end Fred mirrors what happened at Cratchits and he toasts Scrooge this time however the quests aren't so reluctant and Scrooge is truly moved.
At the finish of this stave Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present have a discuss the ghost's age during this talk Scrooge notices something similar to "a foot or a claw" from the bottom of the ghosts robe. The ghost shows it to really be "two children, wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. " The ghost labels them as Ignorance and want a couple of things that Scrooge suffers most from the ghosts most significant message to Scrooge is to beware them. When Scrooge shows some degree of true compassion by asking if anyone can help the ghost throws his own words back at him "Is there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" the clock then strikes twelve and the Spirit disappears leaving Scrooge to take into account the lessons he gained from the Ghost of Christmas Present.
The ghost of Christmas yet to come is an essential figure to Scrooge in the novella, the other ghosts purpose was showing Scrooge what he is missing and also to give examples of how he should be however even after the first two ghosts appearance Scrooge appears to remain in denial of his own cruelness as throughout the fourth stave he cannot appear to patch together who the individual who have died is regardless of the numerous amount of evidence he's offered, the ghost of Christmas yet to come is the final figure Scrooge meets with and its own purpose is to complete his transformation by showing him what he will miss out on if he does not change namely life.
Scrooge has progressed and has truly started to transform we can see this through the change in Scrooges mindset prior to the Scrooges ending up in the ghosts he would have dreaded a meeting with one of the ghosts how ever now he admits that he is truly terrified of this visitor more than others, but that he's prepared to learn the lessons it provides him.
Scrooge and the ghost visit the business district of London where several business men are discussing your death they wonder they do not seem saddened by it and don't care that the man is dead only where he has left his wealth to they care so little the particular one man decides that he'll only attend the funeral if lunch provided later, this reflects Scrooges earlier outlooks where even when his friend Jacob Marley died he didn't stop working even on the day of his death. The ghost then points out another two men who very briefly review the topic themselves Scrooge recognises them as rich and important people who he previously before always tried to associate himself with however despite his efforts to stay in good terms with them they still refer to the man or Scrooge as he later finds out as "Old Scratch" that is someone that scratches around for things or is "grasping, scraping, clutching [and] covetous" as Dickens earlier describes him. As Scrooge hold these men as very important and tries to stay on the good side he assumes that he's and therefore can not even conceive that this man could be him or that the person people are discussing could be himself. However these men's conversation ends very quickly as though showing that people wouldn't normally put greater than a half of a minutes conversation as the worthiness they found in Scrooges life.
Scrooges new mindset is once more demonstrated as Scrooge tries to determine who the dead person might be he cannot think of anyone who could be described like that so he assumes it to be someone he does not know however despite not knowing he even "resolve[s] to treasure up every word he heard. " Meaning that despite no understanding of the specifics he'll make an effort to learn all he is able to from this ghost as the other ghosts have already given him good lessons. It shows a willingness to improve that was not present before it inspires belief in the readers that Scrooge will try his best.
Scrooge can however tell the type of person who men are discussing though initially assuming that it may be Jacob Marley whom Scrooge was virtually identical too he gets rid of this thought however because this ghost was supposed to deal with the future. Scrooge later believes this man to be someone similar to himself believing that he is only being shown this mans death because "[t]he case of the unhappy man might be [his] own. "
Scrooge is next taken up to a rag and bones shop where he sees three people discussing the dead man he can see that they have robbed the dead man who was lying dead on the bed next to them. One of the "ghouls" because they are named has literally taken the shirt off Scrooges back the "ghouls" behaviour appears to reflect Scrooges personality before the transformation as "grasping, scraping, clutching [and] covetous"
The ghost takes Scrooge to the dead mans room which has bee left "plundered and bereft. " He's told by the ghost to unveil the man hidden by a single sheet however he finds himself without the power to take action he instead reflects on the mans death that the "ghouls" referred to as alone with the person "Gasping for breathe" thinking that this mans love for the money has caused his downfall in the long run.
Scrooge asks the ghost whether anyone cared about the mans death but he finds that individuals are only happy that he is gone because he was a bad person but the only person who had tenderness directed to him was Tiny Tim who had also died it shows Scrooge that while Tiny Tim may be an invalid his kindness made people celebrate his short life a lot more than people will celebrate the mans death.
Finally the ghost completes Scrooges transformation by firmly taking him to a church where he shows Scrooge his own grave this is accompanied by an understanding of the ghosts lesson that if he were to keep as he was "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching [and] covetous" what he has seen will happen to him Scrooge's own concern with death makes him beg for forgiveness and even pledges to carry "Christmas in his heart" forever.
At Scrooge's realisation the ghost starts to depart perhaps because the ghost was the personification of Scrooges negative future when Scrooge saw where he had gone wrong and pledged to improve he destroyed that version of the ghost of Christmas future and changed all of that the ghost predicted.
In conclusion I find it impossible to mention an individual ghost of whom Scrooge's transformation can be attributed to