The audience have seen now how Scrooge was in his past. We see how he has changed into the man we see now and we also recognise the dire need for Ebenezer to change. It is now the time of the second ghost, that of the Christmas Present. This ghost’s objective is to show Scrooge what is happening at the current day because of his actions. The Spectre himself is giant, jolly man dressed in green surrounded by food.
This ghost is the opposite of Scrooge – generous and hospitable. He has a “kind, generous, hearty nature. ”
This Spirit shows Scrooge how Christmas is celebrated by his clerk’s family, by strangers near and far, and by his nephew, Fred. The Spirit carries a torch and everywhere it goes this torch sprinkles incense or water on people and makes them become kinder to each other. He gives it “to a poor one most.
” We are first taken to Bob Cratchit’s house, to which Scrooge has never been to before. We see how the Cratchits, despite being extremely poor, manage to be happy at Christmas. They are a large family and struggle to keep the family healthy. This is because of the poor wages Scrooge pays Bob.
Because of this, Tiny Tim, the youngest of Bob’s children, who is a cripple, is extremely frail and near death. “He bore a little crutch, and had his limbs supported by an iron frame.
” Tiny Tim is shown as a special boy by Dickens by the way Tim “hoped that the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and, and blind men see”. In this way, Dickens shows that Tiny Tim is unique, important and he needs to stay alive. Scrooge feels an “interest he had never felt before” and asks the Spirit if Tim will live.
The ghost tells him that unless something changes in the future, the child will die. When Scrooge protests he is reminded of his words earlier: “If he be like to die he had better do it and decrease the surplus population”. Scrooge “hung his head to hear his own words” and is “overcome with penitence and grief. ” This shows how Scrooge has changed. He is feeling worried, concerned and sympathetic. The Cratchits have to eat a very small, cheap, goose for dinner which is cooked somewhere else because they don’t have a big enough oven for it. They have to ‘eke’ it out with potatoes.
The meal is mainly lots of stuffing and vegetables – the children “were steeped in sage and onion to the eyebrows. ” They also have a very small pudding however “nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. ” This shows although they are in poverty, the Cratchits are content and happy with their lives. This is mirrored in their dress as well. Mrs Cratchit is wearing an old and tatty outfit yet she uses cheap ribbons to make it look festive. The spectre then takes Scrooge to his nephew’s to witness the Christmas party, Ebenezer was invited to but refused to come.
Scrooge finds that he is really enjoying that partying and laughs, dances and sings along not realising he is invisible. He pleads with the Spirit to stay until the very end of the festivities. “He begged like a boy to be allowed to stay until the guests departed. ” Scrooge is happy and different from what he was before. He has changed. The Ghost shows Scrooge two starved children, called Ignorance and Want, who live under his coat. They are horribly dirty and ugly children who lack the basics for survival. They are uneducated and uncivilised.
Dickens describes them as “yellow”, “meagre”, “ragged”, “scowling” and “wolfish”. The ghost tells him that they are not his but “man’s”, Scrooge is told to beware of them both. Dickens adds these two characters to show the Victorians ignorance and mistreatment of the poor. The children are a visualisation of this. When Scrooge asks if nothing can be done to help them the ghost again quotes his earlier words: “Are there no prisons? Are there no work-houses? ” He feels deep shame, as the ghost disappears. We notice the massive change that has happened to Scrooge.
He is happy, light-hearted, and joyful. He refused to go to Fred’s house for Christmas earlier, yet found himself dancing with glee and joy begging the ghost not to stay. It seems Ebenezer might have a chance of escaping the chains Marley suffers after all; however it is now time for a new ghost. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. We start with a grim description of the city Scrooge is now in, it is “foul and narrow”. This shocks the audience and is telling us we need to change and help others. The Ghost of Christmas Yet appears and is describes as wearing all black much like the Grim Reaper.
This symbolises that there will be a death in this stave of the story and sure enough the ghost leads Scrooge through a sequence of mysterious scenes relating to an unnamed man’s recent death. Scrooge sees businessmen discussing the dead man’s riches and some people trading the unknown man’s personal possessions for small amounts of money. By this time the audience all have realised it is Scrooge who is the mystery man, yet Ebenezer hasn’t realised this. Dickens has used dramatic irony here to add tension and excitement to the play.
Scrooge is shocked because all these people are happy at this man’s death such as where the woman selling the man’s belongings says “he frightened everyone away from him when he was alive, to profit us when he was dead! ” Scrooge is really distraught about this and asks the Spirit to show him anyone who feels some sense of emotion about this mans death. “Show that person to me, Spirit, I beseech you. ” The ghost agrees and transports them to a house where a poor couple are expressing relief at the death of the man to whom they owe a loan too.
“Their hearts were lighter. ” We are now taken to the Cratchit home, Bob mourns for Tiny Tim, who has recently died. This is due to the Scrooges former character. The whole family feel sadness and this contrasts with the man, for whom nobody cares about. Bob tells the family about the kindness of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, and soon feels better when he discusses Tiny Tim’s lasting memory. They learn to be content with the death as Bob says “I am very happy. ” The family can take positives from this and this again shows how strong willed and ‘good’ the Cratchits are.
Scrooge, still anxious to learn the lesson of his latest visitor, begs to know the name of the dead man. After pleading with the ghost, Scrooge finds himself in a churchyard, the spirit pointing to a grave. Scrooge looks at the headstone and is shocked to read his own name. He desperately begs the spirit to alter his fate, promising to change his insensitive, selfish and greedy ways and to love and respect Christmas the way it should – “I will honour Christmas with all his heart” he pleads and pleads for change. The Spirit collapses and disappears and he suddenly finds himself safely tucked in his bed.
Overwhelmed with joy by the chance to redeem himself and grateful that he has been returned to Christmas Day, Scrooge rushes out onto the street hoping to share his newfound Christmas spirit. He sends a giant Christmas turkey to the Cratchit house and attends Fred’s party, to the surprise of the other guests. As the years go by, he holds true to his promise and honors Christmas with all his heart: he treats Tiny Tim as if he were his own child, provides lavish gifts for the poor, and treats his fellow human beings with kindness, generosity, and warmth.
The story ends happily as Tiny Tim observes “God bless Us, Every One! ” The end ties up ‘A Christmas Carol’ by showing Scrooge correcting everything he did wrong at the start of the book. He gives lots of money to the portly gentleman, helps the Cratchits, talks and respects Fred again, and also is nice to everyone else in the city. The Spirits have changed Scrooge to be a happy, charitable, and kind man. The important message Dickens conveys is that if this old, mean, miser can change then anyone can. We should all respect one another and this is still relevant today.