The important and lasting consequences that result from our action, for good or evil, is a key theme in the novel. For Jacob Marley, the actions he chose to carry out in life had enduring consequences. He was doomed to roam the earth in the chains he forged, desperately craving to help other but being unable. Hence, ‘Christmas Carol’ depicts the importance of actions that have enduring consequences.
Scrooge’s actions in ‘Christmas Carol’ is widely seen to be influenced by his past which change the way he is today. His time in boarding school prepared him to be lonely later in life. Dickens suggest that Scrooge childhood, that has both led to and is the result of Scrooge’s miserly, bitter character. Having rejected to start a family, Scrooge focus on developing his career and wealth. Acting on fears held unto since childhood, Scrooge has decided that the guarantee of a stable future is of utmost importance. When asked to donate to the poor and needy, Scrooge answered blatantly if there ‘were no prisons…no workhouses?’ This suggest that Scrooge belief is that poverty is almost a crime and that ‘they had better die and decrease the surplus population.’ Therefore, the miserly, tight-fisted man Scrooge is at present is the aftermath of his actions in the past.
The consequences that Scrooges sees from the present and future ghost is the result of his actions in the past. Dickens foreshadowed the death of tiny Tim through the future ghost which acts to teach Scrooge the effects of his actions upon the Cratchit family, for tiny Tim dies because Bob Cratchit could not afford the medical attention tiny Tim needs due to the paltry wages earned from Scrooge. Through the use of tiny Tim, Dickens is able to display to Scrooge the extent of poverty within society. Thus, the importance of actions is significant in the novel.
Scrooge’s actions in the present altered the future which ultimately saved his life. The final vision from the future ghost which assisted Scrooge’s transformation is his ‘neglected grave’ that was ‘overrun by grass and weeds, the growth of vegetation’s death, not life’ Upon the sight of his own grave, Scrooge fell to his knees and tells the future ghost that he ‘will keep Christmas in his heart, and try to keep it all year. [He] will live in the Past, Present and Future.’ Certainly, his partner’s demise had not affected him until that very moment. Scrooge became a transformed man and was given a second chance to live which he most certainly seizes it, for he became a ‘second father’ to tiny Tim, increased Bob’s wages and was known for having the Christmas Spirit. Dickens showed to his audience that Scrooge had forsaken what is truly meaningful in life, his family with his nephew, his loyal employee Bob Cratchit and most importantly the plight of the poor and needy. Therefore, the enduring consequences that Scrooge sees from the future ghost is the result of his actions in the past.
In retrospect, the enduring consequences that Scrooge sees is a result of his actions in the past. Scrooge had a miserable childhood, sent away from home, no friends in school, takes solace in books and the only student not to go home for Christmas. Coupled with a strong fear of poverty, Scrooge made bad decisions for the majority of his life which had enduring consequences.