The main character in A Christmas Carol is Ebenezer Scrooge. He is a cynical, frugal, alone, and cold-hearted man who is in love with money. In the book he meets the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come; as he encounters the ghosts who help a change begin in Scrooge. He undergoes a metamorphose from his self-alienated life style to become a more open person, who is embracing life for the first time. He feels regret for all of his terrible life choices and wants to change. In Charles Dickens’s, A Christmas Carol, it is apparent that Ebenezer Scrooge transforms from being inconsiderate and rude to others, to someone who is capable of compassion and love.
For instance, Scrooge has no moral compass, he keeps Marley’s name on the plaque outside the business. He does not care that it is deceiving to have a dead partner’s name on the plaque. He only thinks about the money and cannot fathom the reason people enjoy spending money on each other because he has no concept about family. “What is Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money” (Dickens 22) he knows that people are in debt and cannot understand why people celebrate this holiday. He finds no joy in the Christmas spirit at this time in the story and is bitter and mean. Scrooge encounters Marley as a ghost, someone who is trapped in a human world and cannot continue to the afterlife to rest. He knows he does not want to be like Marley and fears having the same terrible fate as his former business partner. The Ghost of Christmas Past shows him his ex- fiancée and how she pities him because he is alone, and she has what she wanted. Scrooge says, “Remove me” (Dickens 95)! He cannot seem to stomach the agony of the past and how he treats others and how he does not seem to care. In contrast, Scrooge in the end of the book is more optimistic, cheerful, and happy. He laughs for the first time on Christmas morning when he opens the window. He is rejoicing because it is a new day and he got a second chance at life. This is a transformation for the best and is a change from the old cynical Scrooge.
In addition, he is a penny pincher when it comes to money and would not even let Bob Cratchit have a fire to warm himself with. He refuses to give money to charity collectors when they ask for a donation in stave 1 because he sees no need to help the less fortunate. He has more than enough money to help others, but he wants to accumulate it instead. An example of Scrooge’s hoarding, “I cannot afford to make idle people merry” (Dickens 23). He does not want to waste money on people he thinks are idle. His core belief is that people should work for money and not be given a hand out. In spite of, his past behavior he learns from the Ghost of Yet to Come, an eerie possible ending if he continuous on his path. He sees himself dead and everyone could have cared less. Three people come together and took possessions of his, they can be assumed as thieves, trying to get rich off of stuff that belong to him. This was a sobering sight for him to see no one mourn his death. This gives him a desire to become a better person, so people will be sad to see him gone. He helped no one in the past so from the present day onward he helps people and greets people for the first time. He decides to help others by giving to the less fortunate and help the Cratchit family. He becomes less anxious about money. He gives Bob Cratchit coal to have in the office, so he can be warm and gives him a raise. This life changing decision has made him a better person and a more generous individual.
Furthermore, in the start of the book Dickens talks about Marley, as stated before is dead, he was the former partner of Scrooge. They were each other’s only friend. This gives the book a gloomy mood and gives him a chance to describe Scrooges personality. The weather that is described in the book reflects how he is as a person. He is cold, and no weather can bother him. Fred, the nephew of Scrooge, gives a warm greeting to Scrooge and he says, “Bah Humbug” (Dickens 15)! This is Scrooge being cold and mean to the one person who cares about him. After the visits from the ghost, he wakes up on Christmas morning and there is “no fog, no mist; clear bright, jovial, stirring, cold” (Dickens 138) it is a beautiful morning. Dickens uses this weather to show the change in Scrooge and to brighten up the mood. He wakes up a different person and is happy. He is reborn and is taking it all in.
Scrooge is also a lonely old man, not wanting to make friends and wanting to be alone. He does not have a need to be liked and does not mind being on his own. He gets irritated by people, everyone avoids him, and are silent when he passes them on the street. He likes the darkness and cold because it is cheap. He is described as being “self- contained and solitary as an oyster” (Dickens 12) by Dickens. In the beginning of the book Dickens sets us up to think of Scrooge as a lonely human being who pushes away people. The Ghost of Christmas Past shows him, his past and he has pushed everyone away. He pushed his fiancée away because he wanted to be wealthy. He feels remorse of this past event and begins to understand himself. By the end of the story the reader will see a beautiful transformation from someone who hates people to someone who craves human contact. He becomes closer with this nephew and spends Christmas with his nephew’s family. He even sends a turkey to the Cratchit family, so they can have more food to eat since Bob has a large family. He is able to save Tiny Tim’s life because his more generous and cares about the well-being of others.
Ebenezer Scrooge makes a complete transformation in the book. He finds out about himself through the Ghosts of Christmas Past and makes the necessary changes to not have the same terrible fate as Marley. Scrooge was able to get over his fear to open up to others and become courageous to be vulnerable to let others in his life. This allows him to be able to be a happier and generous person. This book shows that people are capable of great change. It does not matter how grumpy or cheap a person is. Everyone can change. Ebenezer Scrooge went from a cranky old man who would not even let someone light a fire for warmth. To someone who loves to give to others and takes a great pleasure in participating in the Christmas time activities. Christmas time is a sacred time for many families all across the world, whether it be religious or not, people agree that Christmas is a time for giving and sharing joy with others. By the end even ole Scrooge learned that.
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