The character of Scrooge Essay
The character of Scrooge
He asks the ghost: “Tell me if Tiny Tim will live… if these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die. ” This shows that Scrooge feels guilty for not giving his clerk more money as he witnesses their way of life. The ghost then takes Scrooge to visit his nephew Fred on Christmas day. Fred is having a splendid time and is celebrating a more modern Christmas with fun, laughter, drinking booze and playing games such as: similes and yes or no. It is less religious as they have more money and a “bright, dry gleaming house… ” However, they still have strong moral values like the Cratchits.
Dickens suggests that Scrooge is missing out on the fun and games by saying, “that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us and not making merry with us, is, as I think, that he loses some pleasant moments, which could do him no harm. ” This suggests that Scrooge starts to feel a bit of remorse, since he turned the invite down. Scrooge is forced to realise that he has missed a chance to be merry with the only family he has left in the world. Finally, the ghost shows Scrooge two personifications of the social situation in the form of two children: Ignorance (a boy) and Want (a girl), who symbolise mankind’s downfall.
Dickens uses this personification to emphasise the point of mankind’s destruction, for instance the spirit says, “Most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which Doom… ” This signifies if people continue to ignore the poor, society will crumble. In this stave Scrooge feels new emotions such as regret for not paying his clerk Bob Cratchit enough money, since he lives in poverty with a huge family and a crippled son, and more regret for not attending the invite from Fred. Also, he feels a lot sadder and some happiness for Fred’s games and the laughter, Scrooge’s family had without him.
The ghost of Christmas yet to come represents death and judgement, this ghost is also known as a phantom because it is wearing a black cloak which conceals its face and it doesn’t say a word to add to the morbid atmosphere. They visited a house where there was “one little knot of business men” with a lady trying to sell some of Scrooge’s possessions, he sees nobody is upset by his death, but instead raiding his hose and selling off his property. “I hope he didn’t die of anything catching Eh?… Don’t you be afraid of that.
” This shows that people are joking over his death and no-one cares about his departure from the face of the earth. He is very upset that no-one cares about his death, all they can do is laugh and attempt to make a profit from his belongings. Scrooge asks the spirit “If there is any person in the town, who feels emotion caused by this man’s death… Show that person to me, spirit… ” They go to the Cratchit’s house, but “The only emotion that the ghost could show him, caused by the event, was one of pleasure. ” This emphasises that no-one liked him and cared about him at all, so they were not sad to witness his death.
After a while, they return to the Cratchit’s house where Bob has just returned from work. Dickens makes Scrooge feel miserable, regret and guilt that he did not offer his help to save Tiny Tim from dying, by making the Cratchit family more depressed, for instance, “My little, little child! Cried Bob. My little child! He broke down all at once. ” This makes the reader feel sympathy for the Cratchits and anger towards Scrooge, as he did not help a poor family at need. Also, it makes Scrooge feel terrible and he realises that he must change his ways and become a better person, to stop these perceptions from happening.
Stave four is a particularly religious section of the book, as it deals with Scrooge’s redemption and moral reformation. The language used by Dickens is similar to that used in a religious teaching, for example: “Oh cold, cold, rigid, dreadful death, set up thine altar here. ” This biblical language is meant to make us aware that as readers we are being taught a moral lesson. All Christians believed strongly in heaven and hell; the thought of spending the rest of eternity in hell, frightened most Christians, so even the meanest of people would consider changing their ways to go to heaven.
In stave five, Scrooge awakens on Christmas day as a changed man. He buys the largest turkey in town and donates it to the Cratchits. “I’ll send it to Bob Cratchit’s! ” This shows that Scrooge has finally reformed and he is now a better man, as he is being a lot more generous. Dickens shows that Scrooge has learnt his moral lessons and is not going back to his old ways, he does this by this continual joy, care and generosity, throughout the character of Scrooge in stave five, for example: “Here’s the turkey. Hallo! Whoop! How are you! Merry Christmas!
” This again emphasises that Scrooge has realised and acknowledged his faults and changed them; plus he donates lots of money to the poor, Scrooge says, “… not a farthing less… ” This once more shows Scrooge’s generosity, the poor and the two gentlemen were very grateful. He also celebrates a lovely Christmas with his nephew; Dickens shows this by saying, “Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, won-der-ful happiness… ” This stresses the changes Scrooge has made and that he is having a magnificent time with his family, at last.
The next morning Scrooge was at his office ready to meet Bob Cratchit and give him a pay rise, he says “I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family… ” And that’s exactly what Scrooge did, he did not just raise Bob’s salary, but he became like a second father to Tiny Tim, who did not die. There are many references to heaven in this stave such as: “I am as happy as an angel”, “He went to church” and “God bless us, every one! ” in contrast to the references to hell when he was parsimonious, mean-spirited and had a cold heart, for instance, “It is doomed to wander through the world…
“, “ages of incessant labour by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass eternity… ” and “… dark master! ” This creates the impression that Scrooge was going to hell in stave one because he was stingy, cruel and uncharitable. Dickens teaches a social lesson to us, near the end of the book, so we remember it. He tells us not to worry if people laugh at the sudden change in you as long as you are doing good deeds that is all that matters, for instance, “Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh…
His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him. ” This puts emphasis on Scrooge’s reformation and confirms that Scrooge has changed for the better and for good. A Christmas Carol is an inverted tragedy, since it has five staves similar to the five acts of a Shakespeare play; but Scrooge begins a cold-hearted, cruel, spiteful and uncharitable and ends a loving, caring generous man with a stronger, warmer heart, especially to the poor and needy.
Through the character of Scrooge, Dickens hoped to change the views of society by showing the rich people, who would have read the book that they were Scrooge (not sharing their wealth; being grumpy and cold-hearted). It reflects that money does not lead to happiness, but living a high-quality Christian, moral life does. As the book continues on, Scrooge becomes more and more enthusiastic to learn his moral lessons, for example: “As I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was…
” This shows his eagerness to gain knowledge of his moral and social lessons and his acceptance of his faults. Christianity was a vast issue in the 1840’s, and the idea of burning in hell would have made a lot of people change their miserable, tight-fisted ways. This Christian theme is set throughout the book and if you repent your ways you will be saved (go to heaven). Dickens uses Christmas because it is an occasion when generosity, exuberance and affection should be in our hearts as a time to convey this message of charity.