Introduction The title “A Christmas Carol” already portrays a time of giving and most of all change within a person’s life, which gives us more of an insight into the storyline. Dickens’ aim is to let readers know that it is possible for people’s nature to change from cruel and selfish to caring, thoughtful and helpful. The events that take place throughout the story involve flashbacks and visions of the past and the future. It is based on a man named Scrooge that has lived miserably and is foretold by an old friend that if he continues this way he will suffer the consequences in his after life.
In order for him to change his actions, his old friend Marley sends him three spirits, which show him his personal past, present and future. Eventually the spirits alter Scrooge’s views and way of life. Firstly the spirit of the past reminds scrooge of the happy and joyful occurrences in his early days, including visions of family and friends together and supporting him. However he is also shown the death of his wife and sister, giving the audience a glimpse of what may have triggered Scrooges will to live and the reasons he turned away from happiness.
Witnessing the worst and best of his past is Scrooges salvation to a better life. Secondly, as well as showing him his home and shop the spirit of the present shows Scrooge his surroundings which involves the insight to the life of his assistant Mr Cratchit. Scrooge visits Bob Cratchit in this vision who is experiencing the difficulties of handling life with a crippled son. Lastly the spirit of the future shows that Mr. Cratchit’s son Tiny Tim has passed away. Scrooge also witnesses his belongings being sold and the ways in which people perceive and speak of him.
Scrooge is shown the future giving him the opportunity to change, this is made clear by the last spirits words. Association, 1st signs of emotion and The First Spirit As I read the title of the book “A Christmas Carol” my first impressions were of a tale full of happiness because evidently Christmas is a time of giving, generosity and love throughout. Within the opening I had formed a demeaning description of Scrooge due to the writers descriptions, “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!….
” We also depict his coldness further on, “Nobody ever stopped in the street to say, with Gladstone looks, ‘My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me? ‘ No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what is was o’clock. ” Not only was Scrooge walking under a thundercloud but also there was the aspect of what others felt about him. Another thing that I could see from reading the first few pages of “A Christmas Carol” is that the story focuses on Scrooge and the life revolving around him during Christmas.
Scrooge’s business is now all his and this is because his partner Marley died seven years upon the time this story is based. A fine example of Scrooges inconsiderateness is on the night of Christmas Eve and Scrooge’s nephew walks into Scrooge’s shop saying, “A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you! ” and the reply from Scrooge was, “Bah!… Humbug” and he goes on to tell his nephew that Christmas is a waste of joy. Scrooge’s nephew is Scrooge’s only family left and his nephew invites Scrooge over for Christmas but is declined.
Throughout this chapter we learnt more and more of Scrooge’s ways, not clearly seeing what was going to. Towards the end of the chapter Scrooge gets home, and at home his old friend Marley who has appeared as a ghost visits him; this shocks Scrooge but eventually Marley tells Scrooge why he is being visited. Marley has come to tell Scrooge that he must change his ways otherwise he will end up like Marley and Marley tells Scrooge of his suffering in the afterlife having to carry many chains and all of his money which only gets heavier and heavier, Scrooge is frantic and Marley tells Scrooge, “Or would you know…
The weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it since. It is a ponderous chain! ” This is a great warning for Scrooge informing him that his chain was just as bad as Marley’s is now seven years ago and he has made it worse throughout these seven years. Towards Marley finishing his time with Scrooge he leaves Scrooge with the knowledge that 3 spirits will visit him this Christmas Eve being spirits of past present and future.
Scrooge replies later on stuttering which shows his fear, “I- I think I’d rather not”. It was fate that brought Marley to Scrooge. When the first spirit arrives to Scrooge it is an old man but resembles a young child as the spirit wears pure white garments and his face is that of somebody young, “It was a strange figure – like a child; yet not so like a child as like an old man… It’s hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white, as if with age; and yet the face ha not a wrinkle in it…
” This is the description of the first spirit but there is more to the description. The significance of this old man that resembles a child and also the fact that this spirit is the spirit of the past, I believe that the old man is what the spirit is now but the similarity to a child is from being back in time and this is why this is the spirit of the past. The first place that the spirit brings Scrooge is where he had been brought up as a child and the way I had found this out is because Scrooge exclaims, “I was bred in this place. I was a boy here!
” And this is happiness as Scrooge has not shouted in a mean way but in a joyful way and this is the first time in the book that you get to feel emotions from Scrooge. On the same page it reads that the spirit questions Scrooge, “Your lip is trembling… and what is that upon your cheek? ” This gives us the definite sign that Scrooge was feeling very strong emotions for the first time in “A Christmas Carol” and it is a tear running down his cheek. The spirit brings Scrooge to see himself as it reads, “The school is not quite yet deserted…
a solitary child, neglected bye his friends, is left there still. ” This allows us to understand Scrooge’s childhood and why he has grown to be so different to others and so austere; it is because he has had no people to look up to and relate to so he has become stingy as he fends for himself throughout his life. This spirit has already gained Scrooge’s first sign of changing, which is where Scrooge says, “There was a boy singing a Christmas carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something” This is a sign that Scrooge was well on his way.