I was surprised to witness Scrooge’s first signs of repentance and guilt, which are shown almost immediately after recalling his childhood fantasy. As Scrooge dries his eyes with his cuff the spirit asks him what is troubling him, to which Scrooge replies “There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something that’s all”. Further on in the book whilst the ghost of Christmas Present is visiting Scrooge they have a conversation about the poor, intended to awaken compassion within Scrooge.
As they speak of the ‘seventh day meal’ the spirit says “to any kindly given. To a poor one most” to which Scrooge questions “Why to a poor one most? ” and the spirit simply replies, “Because it needs it most”. Following that the spirit takes Scrooge to the Cratchit’s house on Christmas day where we witness a remarkable sense of strength, which I’m sure, touched us all when reading it.
Therefore the impact it must have had on Scrooge would have been immense. When Bob Cratchit and his son Tiny Tim return home from Church Tiny Tim is escorted to the washroom by his elder sibling.
As Mrs Cratchit asks her husband how Tiny Tim behaved in church he tells her “As good as gold” and continues saying “He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant for them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see”.
It was so inspirational to see a young child, a young crippled child wanting to use his disability to create something good and to help other people.
To see a small child with such faith in the miracles which Jesus has performed, even though he could have taken the other approach and been angry with Jesus or God for being an invalid. This shows an obvious mental maturity, which Tiny Tim holds and good heartiness which is an extreme contrast to the character of Scrooge and meant to draw attention to his selfishness and bring about a deep repentance. Scrooge questions the ghost of Tiny Tim’s future and of what it holds for him. Unfortunately Scrooge does not receive the answer he wished for as he is told that Tiny Tim will die.
Scrooge is troubled by this and cries “No! No! Kind Spirit! Say he will be spared” to which the spirit replies “If these shadows remain unaltered by the future none of my race will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population”. Here we see Scrooge displaying more emotion as he hangs his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spriti and is overcome with penitence and grief, something that I never thought Scrooge would feel. The Cratchit’s teach Scrooge a further lesson before he leaves with the spirit, a lesson of gratitude and forgiveness.
As they seat themselves around the table and praise God for the little food they have, having a Goose on the table for them to feast on brings excitement and delight to the whole family. As they toast Christmas and their family Bob Cratchit makes a surprising toast to Scrooge! As he raises his glass he says “Mr Scrooge! “. His wife, however, takes a completely different approach and says “I wish I had him here. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it. ” Bob calmly replies “My dear. The children, Christmas Day”.
Even though Mrs Cratchit had protested to Mr Cratchit’s toast, she still manages to overcome her anger; “I’ll drink to his health for your sake and the sake of the day’s she says. As Scrooge realises he is the ‘Ogre’ of the family discussion and that he has never displayed such generosity of spirit he is put to shame. Scrooge turns to leave with the Spirit leading him to his next vision. As they enter another house Scrooge immediately realises that it belongs to his nephew. Scrooge recognises his nephew’s words, “Christmas was a humbug” and that his nephew and his friends are mocking his own attitude towards Christmas.
As Scrooge’s Niece, (By marriage), calls out “More shame for him! ” Scrooge’s nephew then makes an extremely precise judgement which obviously strikes a harsh reality with Scrooge as he says, “His wealth is of no use to him. He don’t do any good with it. He don’t make himself comfortable with it. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking-ha, ha, ha! – that he is ever going to benefit us with it! “. Then his wife tells the room that she has no patience with him. But then Fred expresses the exact opposite “O I have, I am sorry for him; I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims!
Himself, always. Here, he takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won’t come and dine with us. What’s the consequence? ” This whole episode brings Scrooge to the realisation of his true character and how he has appeared to those around him. Fred’s response, which displays a humane and compassionate response, is surely meant to bring him to shame. However, theses constant attacks on Scrooge’s character did not anger Scrooge but had Imperceptibly made him gay and light of heart. As the bells rang and the spirit was leaving Scrooge, he pointed out something underneath the Spirits robe.
As two children immerged; “wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. ” As the knelt down at its feet and clung upon the outside of its garment. He became aware that they were a boy and a girl “Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostate, too, in their humility. ” The spirit introduced the boy as ignorance and the girl as want. The children represented the Victorian society and in particular Scrooge. On the forehead of the boy a word was imprinted the word reading “Doom”, “Deny it! ” cried the spirit. Here the ghost is showing Scrooge the consequence of society’s attitudes and actions.
An ignorant society breeds ignorant people, in particular Scrooge, and innocent young children are living in extreme poverty as a result of this. Scrooge was left alone once again until the bell struck twelve, then a Phantom “draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him. ” The ghost did not speak and only gestured with his hand, this silence worried Scrooge and the presence that the Spirit could not handle it any longer and exclaimed “Ghost of the Future! Ii fear you more than any spectre I have seen.