This essay will analyse and report on how the character Scrooge changes throughout the Victorian novel “A Christmas Carol. ” Each Stave will be analysed, thus showing how he changes throughout the novella. At the start of the story, the impression created of Scrooge is very negative. He is portrayed as a cold and twisted character, who puts the wrong principals, such as money, before those that are more important, such as family and friends. Early in the book, Ebenezer represents the direct opposite of the Christmas spirit. He is shown to be extremely miserly, with very little regard or respect for the poor. He is a misanthrope.
By the end, however, he is very different. Instead of being “tight fisted” with his money, he instead appears to have very little concern for it at all, seemingly thrusting it at anyone who will accept it. Most crucially however he is able to have respect for others, instead of just himself. Charles Dickens wanted readers of his book to think about the conditions people of the lower classes lived in, and how despite this they are happy and content. He wanted to give them awareness that money is irrelevant if happiness isn’t created with it. Stave one is mostly about getting the reader to become aware of Scrooges attitude and history.
It portrays Scrooge as a cold and unpleasant character. This point is well made when Dickens writes “The cold within him froze his old features, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, stiffened his gait, and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. ” The first part of this quotation provides an indication of how cold and confronting his appearance is, and how this is reflected in his personality. The language used is simple, which helps to emphasise the extent of his coldness, and the phrasing used, such as the coldness “stiffening his gait” shows his age.
Gait is a reference to how he moves, so in saying that it is stiff, Charles Dickens is stating that his movements are becoming slow and awkward with his age. This could possibly symbolise that it has become awkward for him to socialise and connect with other human beings, as it has become awkward for him to move. In the first Stave, Scrooge’s attitude to giving is extremely bad. This is well shown by the two gentlemen, who are refused by Scrooge when they offer him the chance to donate to the poor. Scrooge tells them that “I don’t make merry myself at Christmas, and I can’t afford to make idle people merry.
” With this quotation Dickens showed that Scrooge is unable to see from other people’s points of views. Despite the Gentlemen’s emotional plea, he is unable to realise how badly people are suffering, or he is simply too cold to care. When he calls the poor people “idle,” he is implying that they are poor because they are lazy and do not work. This is incorrect, as in Victorian times if you were from a poor background it was nearly impossible to build up any sort of wealth. The fact that Scrooge refuses to give to poor when given the chance also shows that he was not a dedicated Christian.
In Victorian times even poor Christians would try to give to the poor, especially at Christmas time. Scrooge, who would have been in the upper middle class, refused to give to charity, and this shows how miserly and uncharitable he really was. In Stave one, Scrooge’s treatment of Bob Cratchit is very cruel and negative, which is reflected in his personality. This is highlighted when Scrooge answers his clerks question about having Christmas day off with, “If I was to stop half a Crown for it, you’d think yourself ill used, I’ll be bound? And yet, you don’t think me ill used when I pay a day’s wages for no work.
” This quotation shows that Scrooge has no appreciation or understanding of Bob’s struggle to maintain his family. He fails to realise that, for Bob, a day’s wage could be crucial for the survival and welfare of his family. Alternatively, he does realise, yet is such a cold character that he does not care about this; he is only interested in making money. Charles Dickens put extra emphasis on the word “me,” which again shows that Scrooge is only able to see from his point of view, and is only able to see whether something benefits him. He always puts himself first.
Again he is unable take in to account other people’s needs, and is more importantly he is unable to sacrifice his own greed for other people’s need. This shows how greedy he actually is. In stave two, Scrooge begins to feel very differently about his nephew, and this is partially due to the spirit of Christmas past showing him his now dead sister, Fan. This is an important part of the story as it’s the first time he is shown to care about someone apart from himself, both his nephew and Fan. When Charles writes, “She had a large heart! ” “So she had,” cried Scrooge, “You’re right. I will not gainsay it. God forbid!
“He uses some Victorian language in the word “gainsay. ” This is when something is declared untrue, so in the quotation Scrooge is refusing to declare it untrue that his sister had a “large heart. ” The reference is relevant to Scrooge realising his love for his nephew because Fan is the mother of Fred, who he recognises within her. In Stave two there are episodes with Belle, Scrooge’s ex girlfriend. There are various reasons for Dickens including them into the Stave. Firstly, he may have wanted the reader to connect with Scrooge in some way, so that they can appreciate that he is human, and that he does have reasoning to be as he is.
He could also want this so that they are able to be happy for him when he successfully changes in stave 5. Charles could also have included the episodes to help Scrooge realise how his life has effectively been ruined by his pursuit of wealth. This is backed up with the third episode in which the spirit is literally showing him what he has missed out on. In this episode, it shows Belle and her daughter enjoying themselves at a chaotic and energetic Christmas party. Belle’s husband then walks in, and mocks how separate Scrooge has become from the world. Dickens wrote this with, “There he sat alone.
Quite alone in the world, I do believe. ” The simplicity of this statement would have had a serious impact on Scrooge. It would have made him realise some of the extent of his loneliness and unpopularity, as well as disturbing him to see the husband and the girl he once loved talking so badly of him. This is also of great relation to Scrooge starting to realise that money isn’t as important as some other things in life. Although Dickens doesn’t specifically write this, it becomes clear throughout the Belle episodes that Scrooge regrets choosing the path of money over Belle.