Understanding of A Christmas Carol and Dickens' Descriptions
Understanding of A Christmas Carol show and how Dickens describes Scrooge’s change in character from stave 1 to 5.
Charles Dickens is one of the most famous novelists of the 19th Century. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is, in particular, one of his most well-known novels. The main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, learns from his error of his ways after being warned by his past sole executor Marley, who appears in ghost form to persuade Scrooge to change his ways. In addition Scrooge is visited by three spirits - past, present and future - in stave 1. Also in stave one you see the transformation of Scrooge’s character, from an old sinner who did not care about anybody but himself but later to a born-again happy, Christmas-loving, generous man who cares for the poor and hungry. In the novel, Dickens’ explores the ideas of charity, generosity, the past and social justice.
Dickens, in Stave 1, makes Scrooge a depressed man who has a cold heart. The opening of the story provides the reader with some insight into the character of Ebenezer Scrooge. Here, Scrooge has a cold heart. For example Scrooge does not heat up his office at all, and Dickens says he “carried his own low temperature always about with him.” Meaning he carries his dead soul around with him. Scrooge is described as being a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, covetous old sinner and as dead as a door nail”, which shows Scrooge does not have any feels for others.
“Darkness was cheap and Scrooge liked it” this shows that even though Scrooge was wealthy he still didn’t act like or look like he was a banker. For example “Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk's fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal”. This shows that Scrooge did not care about his unhappy Clerk, and would not even spare a few shillings for more heating. “External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chilled him” this also shows that Scrooge’s body is abnormal.
The old selfish lonely man didn’t have any friends. Even the poor did not beg him for money: “Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome 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 it was o’clock”. This shows that even a meagre person who was starving will not dare to approach the old stingy businessman who has no place in his soul for kindness. He alerts all living creatures by his appearance to keep his or her distance when he walks through the streets.
In Stave 1 Scrooge is described as a cold hearted, mean man who is not easily influenced by others, emotional or physically. This gives the reader a low perception of Scrooge from the beginning. Scrooge shows he has no feeling and emotion for his dead sole executer Marley. Dickens represents this in story by saying “even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event”, Scrooge even worked during his funeral.
Scrooge’s nephew illustrates a sharp contrast for example when he says ``A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!'' is what Scrooge’s nephew says to him at Christmas. Scrooge thinks that Christmas is a waste of time and that people should be paying their taxes “Christmas a humbug, uncle!'' said Scrooge's nephew. ``You don't mean that, I am sure.'' ``I do,'' said Scrooge. ``Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.’ This shows that Scrooge has no love for his nephew and Christmas, he doesn’t want anybody to be in high spirits. At Christmas time he wants everybody to have the dead spirit he has. It also shows the contrast between Scrooge and his nephew who is young in good spirit lad.
Scrooge does not like giving away his money, he is stingy: ``A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of Decembers”. He does not even want to pay his worker for a day off on Christmas day. This shows how tight fisted he is. Scrooge acts opposite to the teachings of Christianity, teachings shows that people should be sharing, loving and kind, and ready to lend a hand, if a neighbour is in need. In the Holy Scriptures Jesus says that “It is as easy for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven as it, is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.”This is basically saying God is not going, to judge you on wealth but on the soul. As Christmas is the celebrating the birth of Christ, Dickens is reminding us that Christ preached charity and giving above everything else.
Another way Scrooge shows in his character that he is tight fisted with his money by neglecting the poor ``If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, ``they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that.'' This shows that Scrooge would rather prefer disadvantaged, people to die so the population can decrease than pay a few shilling too keep the underprivileged people warm and eat turkey in the Christmas festive season.
Marley’s long chain broke open Scrooges fearless chain that has been locked for many years. “The bells ceased as they had begun, together. They were succeeded by a clanking noise, deep down below; as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine-merchant's cellar”. Scrooge didn’t want to believe what he was seeing through his eyes. Scrooge was speechless for a few seconds he examines Marley’s heavy rusty chain’s and wanted answers. “It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel”. This shows quantity of sin that Marley was carrying on his spirit. Scrooge and Marley lived the same life so it was like looking soul to soul Scrooge had an insight already had a choice of who wanted to end up like Marley or transform his wicked sinful ways into a new man. Scrooge tries to laugh it off. “A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!''But later find out it is no laugh matter.
Later on Scrooge is warned by his sole mourner Marley ``you will be haunted,'' resumed the Ghost, ``by Three Spirits. ‘Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost's had done”. Scrooge dropped low then the melting point he was before in seconds.
Also in Stave 2 we also see reaction of Scrooge when he sleeps through a whole day ``Why, it isn't possible,'' said Scrooge, ``that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night. It isn't possible that anything has happened to the sun, and this is twelve at noon!''
Scrooge second guesses his visit by Marley “The more he thought Marley's Ghost bothered him exceedingly. Every time he resolved within himself, after mature inquiry, that it was all a dream, his mind flew back, like a strong spring released, to its first position, and presented the same problem to be worked all through, ``Was it a dream or not?''Scrooge thinks he was an awful dream but then again questions himself.
Scrooge meets the first spirit which starts off his journey to his born again spirit ``I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.''
This is the start of breaking Scrooge down emotional ‘A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still.'' Scrooge said he knew it. And he sobbed. This shows that everybody has a breaking point and that nobody is tuff.
In stave 2 we witness Scrooge emotion coming out Then, with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character, he said, in pity for his former self, ``Poor boy!'' and cried again. ‘Nothing,'' said Scrooge. ``Nothing. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something: that's all. ‘Scrooge regrets what he has done to the small boy and wishes he can go back in time so that he can give something to the small boy. Scrooge acts like a men During the whole of this time, Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits They say you do not know what you got until that thing is gone Scrooge knew what had lost beloved sister and the girl of his dreams.
Scrooge couldn’t take any more of his past Spirit!'' said Scrooge, ``show me no more! Conduct me home. Why do you delight to torture me?''Scrooge had enough Scrooge wanted out Dickens is also showing us you can’t run away from you past the past will never change you have to face your fears someday.
However in Stave 3 Dickens opens Scrooge’s heart you see Scrooge taking an interest in little crutch ‘I see a vacant seat,'' replied the Ghost, ``in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.''
Dickens slowly changes Scrooge ways``No, no,'' said Scrooge. ``Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared. ‘Scrooge has a change of heart and wants to help little crutch. The spirit reminds Scrooge how painful his words are too his nephew who adores Christmas ‘He said that Christmas was a humbug, as I live!'' cried Scrooge's nephew. ``He believed it too!''
In Stave 4 you see Scrooge make a deal with the 3rd spirit to give him a chance to be another man ``Ghost of the Future!'' he exclaimed, ``I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?''Dickens wants to show the readers that everybody deserve a second chance in life. Scrooge over hears the conversation between two business man talking about his death ``When did he die?'' inquired another. The two business man make a joke of what they think Scrooge funeral would look like ``It's likely to be a very cheap funeral,'' said the same speaker; ``for upon my life I don't know of anybody to go to it. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer?''Dickens shows that respect and power is in important key in life and Scrooge was lacking respect from the two business man this also show respect you get respect back.
Last but not least in Stave 5 is when Scrooge changes his life 360degress around into a born again spirit. Scrooge change rapidly overnight from a cold hearted man to new man
Scrooge is in high spirits and remembers what Marley and the 3 spirit has done for him ‘I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!'' Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. ``The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!''
Dickens changes Scrooge vocabulary to a joyful vocabulary ``I don't know what to do!'' cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. ``I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!'' in a movie Scrooge will act this out by jumping and moving like a school boy.
Dickens wants to show us that even the worst man on earth can change that means we can too.
The reason why Dickens was so popularly much is because he had lived and seen the state of the poor in his childhood of kids working Cornish tin mines in appalling conditions. This why the film is so popular it is because it is Christian charity story and one of the key ideas behind scrooge is the biblical character Saul. The story is over hundred and Fifty years and is taught in many schools across the English border in Gcse English classes. Lastly it teaches the reader that life is like a business wont we can take from this as readers we can all follow Scrooge changes are worth following and make a change in society and put together better society.