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The Factors Of Main Character Transformation In Christmas Carol

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The novel A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens it describes the story of a mean-spirited and selfish old man Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge is afflicted by the Spirit of his former friend Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. He is also shown the errors of his ways by the three Ghost of Christmas. After their visits, Scrooge is modified into a better and more enlightened man. Although the change may not be permanent, the three Spirits made an influence on Scrooge's transformation because they each showed him how he needs to learn a lot of things such, as being kind and generous to poor people and how having a good relationship with others is necessary. They also display for him how his life would be like if he does not change his personality and attitude towards others.

To begin with, the Ghost of Christmas Past started off showing Scrooge many of his past Christmases, in which he struggled and was lonely for the most part. By showing him his past Christmases, the ghost tries to make him understand his deeds and his actions more in a way it guides him to be a better person. One of the many moments that the Spirit of the Past displayed to Scrooge was when he shut this little boy out on his front door when he came to sing a Christmas Carol. Dickens illustrates within the text that, “...Poor boy!” and cried again...after drying his eyes with his cuff “but it’s too late now.” … “A boy was singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something, that’s all,” (Dickens, 1843, p.23). This quote intends to showcase how Scrooge started to see his actions in his past with a different perspective. He felt connected and sympathetic towards the little boy. He started to get emotional knowing whence his past was the reason for how he treats and interacts with others. Based on this quote, the readers can infer that Scrooge begins to feel guilty about how he dismissed the child last night. He wished he would have treated him better and given him something in return for singing the carols. After seeing how poorly he treated the little boy, the Spirit then shows Scrooge the situation at his clerk’s home, which leaves Scrooge feeling very emotional and disturbed. Also, a scene from the novel, that shows Scrooge’s emotions would be “I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now,” Scrooge says,” (Dickens, 1843, p.27). The significance of this quote is to explain how Scrooge is becoming more sensitive and compassionate towards the way he reacted in the past. Scrooge is being more thoughtful of his actions in the past with some of the closest people to him as he finally learns his mistakes and errors in his ways. According to this quote, the readers can indicate how Scrooge wants to make things better with his clerk, after seeing this situation with Fezziwig. When the ghost illustrated Fezziwig’s actions, Scrooge defended him considering his generosity, and this shows how Scrooge started to feel more connected and understanding of his surroundings, and most importantly his actions. The readers can see how when Scrooge traveled through his past, he realized many things and has more insight, of his behavior. As a result of the Spirit of Christmas Past showing Scrooge some of his vulnerable and dreadful past, he starts to feel responsible for his behavior towards others. Scrooge is becoming more knowledgeable about his past, and he wants to be reasonable, reflective, and empathetic towards others.

In addition to the Spirit of the Past, the Spirit of Christmas Present shows Scrooge many differences in various aspects. The Spirit shows Scrooge the celebration of Christmas of some of the closest people to him, with how they feel about Scrooge and his personality. The Spirit of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the conditions and the circumstances of his clerk’s home, and it leaves Scrooge thinking of the struggles that Bob goes through daily. A scene where Dickens illustrates, that is when he claims, “Tell me if Tiny Tim will live,”… “the child will die,”…. “No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh no, kind Spirit says he will be spared,” … “decrease the surplus population,”... Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit and was overcome with penitence and grief,” (Dickens, 1843, p.40). The connotation of this quote is to show how Scrooge is more sensible of what he is doing and how it affects people around him. The author placed this in the text to show that there is more to a person than just their actions. Bob struggled through a lot especially with his son Tiny Tim, the Christmas of Present was able to bestow this to Scrooge which gave him a greater understanding of Bob’s situation and his condition at his home. Scrooge feels compassion for Tiny Tim as he comes to learn that Tiny Tim will die unless something unexpected happens to him. Scrooge is confronted by his former hard-heartedness, regrets deeply, and then witnesses the extraordinary grace of his mistreated clerk, Bob Cratchit. Based on this quote, the readers can indicate how Scrooge feels very affectionate and concerned. In a way, he feels pity for the Cratchit family and how he treats Bob at his workplace. Scrooge understands Bob’s situations at his home and is very touched by the circumstances he lives in. This tells the readers how Scrooge is more considerate of how he will treat Bob in the future. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge how strongly his nephew feels towards him and how affectionate he is. For instance, Dickens (1843) illustrates, “Oh, I have!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “I am sorry for him; I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers from his ill whims? Himself always,” (p.45). The idea of this quote is to clarify the cognizance of wherewith Fred is always positive and envying great for his grumpy venerable uncle. Fred’s attitude towards his uncle doesn’t change with how his uncle treats him from time to time. This expresses to Scrooge whereby no matter how much he keeps pushing people away from him, they wish the best for him, which in a way makes him feel very guilty of his actions. Fred is always approaching his uncle with such a positive attitude, and he wants his uncle to celebrate Christmas with him. Fred is willing to give his best and show his uncle how joyful Christmas can be if he tries to look at it from a different perspective. The Spirit of Christmas Present shows Scrooge how the people close to him also have their problems, and issues but they don't let it get in the way of having positive relationships with others.

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Moreover, the Spirit of Yet to Come contributed to Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation by showing him what may happen to him if he continues to act and behave this way. He shows Scrooge how his actions will eventually leave him in a lonely and dark place. The Spirit of Yet to Come can show Scrooge how his future will be if he continues on this path and doesn’t make the necessary lifestyle changes. In the subsequent quote, few people are discussing Scrooge's death, but he doesn’t realize that until the end when the Spirit reveals it for him. In one of the other scenes, it claims, “Last night, I believe.” “Why, what's the matter with him? … “I thought he’d never die,” (Dickens, 1843, p.51). The purpose of adding this piece of information is to show the readers whence the Spirit tried to reveal to Scrooge how others saw him and how they felt regarding his death. The effect on the readers based on this is to understand other people observed Scrooge and their perspective of him. This demonstrates how Scrooge must have treated other people so poorly that it made them feel so much hatred and carelessness towards him and his death. After knowing that he desperately wants to change and to live to the fullest, Scrooge finally comes to understand that he was the man that everyone was talking about. In another part, Dickens claims, “...hear me! I am not the man I was. . . . I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!” (Dickens, 1843, p.62). In correspondence to the quote, the readers can indicate that Scrooge feels that he will die unloved and despised unless he chooses a different way of life from this moment on. Scrooge begs the Spirit to forgive him, and he says how he will be a different man now, and he is willing to change to avoid his terrifying death. Scrooge claims, how after he comprehends his past, present, and future he agrees, whereby if he continues to live by these rules, and effort he will end up in a dark place and isolated. Scrooge wants to become a greater man after seeing what his future can do to him. He promised the Spirit that he is willing to be a better person, and he will be kinder. He is afraid of dying alone he doesn’t want people to talk about him or be animated once he’s dead. The Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge how his life will turn into some unpleasant and awful. After realizing the different aspects of what may happen to him, Scrooge is so fearful of his future that he is very furious and determined to change no matter what it takes him.

Lastly, Ebenezer Scrooge has come to learn that as the three Spirits show him the different Christmases throughout his life. Scrooge has learned so many lessons and mistakes that he was making. He didn’t realize what he was doing until the Spirits showed him the truth. That's when he realizes his mistakes and his immoral deeds for his friends and family. One example of Scrooge’s transformation is when he decided to attend the Christmas party at Fred’s house. In another scene, it illustrates, “Why to bless my soul!” cried Fred, “Who’s that?” “It is I. Your uncle Scrooge I have to come to dinner, ” (Dickens, 1843, p.67). The nephew is willing to celebrate and relish Christmas with his uncle. This makes Scrooge feel so touched, even after how he had treated Fred all these years, he was still glad to have Scrooge over for Christmas. Based on this the readers can infer how Scrooge felt deeply moved and emotional when his nephew invited him in, Scrooge felt so ashamed of how he treated Fred in the past, and he wanted to take it all back and put it all behind him. Scrooge was amenable to try to be a more tolerant person and have a stronger relationship especially, with his nephew Fred. A different example of Scrooge’s transformation would be when he decided to help and put his contribution in assisting Bob’s family, especially Tiny Tim. In one of the scenes, it claims, “...and therefore I am about to raise your salary!... A Merry Christmas Bob!...I’ll raise your salary and endeavors to assist your struggling family, ” (Dickens, 1843, pp. 67-68). The implication of this quote is to show how Scrooge understood what he did wrong and how he was willing to correct it. The aforementioned demonstrates how the three Spirits were able to show Scrooge the actual cold personality he had with his clerk and how poorly he treats him. Scrooge wanted to make a change and started to be friendly to show more support and insight into Bob’s situation. This convinces the readers how Scrooge started to make some changes with his relation with Bob. He felt very sympathetic towards it and wanted to do everything he can to support his family, especially Tiny Tim. Ebenezer Scrooge goes from being old, grumpy, and rude to this kind, humble, supportive, caring, and happy individual. At the end of the story, Scrooge has become this new and improved self of his Past, Present, and Future self.

In conclusion, Ebenezer Scrooge has transformed significantly throughout the novel. After going through a range of Christmases from his Past, Present, and Future, he realizes how much he is missing out, and how he needs to value his surroundings along with the people around him. Although the change may not last for an extended period, the three Spirits made a major impact on Scrooge’s transformation because it reveals how Scrooge did make some of the biggest and considerable changes throughout the text. The Spirits illustrated to him how he needs to be kinder more generous to others and need to have good relationships with some of the closest people to him. Towards the end of the novel, Scrooge comes to learns that he needs to be more merciful and to give more to others in need, to be open-hearted. Charles Dickens wrote this novel to show how we can commend both ourselves and the world when we live in a generous, compassionate, and open-hearted way. Throughout the novel, we come to learn how Scrooge pushed away his positive emotions and he isn’t able to experience joy or empathy towards others. This connects back to the real world where we need to be more appreciative, and understanding to others and their situations. Some of the reflections I can make based on this text is how you always have to treat others with kindness and generosity since you aren’t always aware of their situation or what they may be going through at the time. Additionally, a different valuable lesson I learned from this text is you need to be more forgiving or lenient towards others to be more solicitous and courteous of them and their situation.

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The Factors Of Main Character Transformation In Christmas Carol. (2021, September 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
“The Factors Of Main Character Transformation In Christmas Carol.” Edubirdie, 16 Sept. 2021,
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The Factors Of Main Character Transformation In Christmas Carol [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 16 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from:
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