Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth on the 17th February 1812 even though he spent most of his childhood in London where he based many of his stories and novels. He became the editor of a magazine called ‘Bentleys miscellany’ which me made instantly successful by his serialisation of ‘Oliver Twist’ which was one of his most famous and most heard of novels. Stave one is all about introducing Scrooges personality to use and we quickly find out that he is a protagonist. He is elfish, miserly and a bitter old man.
He is described in the first few pages (7 and 8) with cold, sharp and winter images such as ice and frost and these images are very ironic towards Scrooges cold icy grim, bitter and misanthropic character. He avoids all people and as much company as possible, he avoids beggars, market salesmen, children and even animals. He has a work clerk called Bob Cratchit who is very over worked and especially for the total of 15 shillings that Scrooge pays him each week even though Bob has a family of six people.
Scrooge provides Bob Cratchit at work with a small coal fire which he wont even let Bob fill up with enough coal to keep Bob mildly warm in the winter conditions of Scrooges bitter, chilly office. Scrooge is even angry with Bob for asking for Christmas day off even though Bob works 364 days a year not including Christmas day. Scrooges nephew Fred the enters Scrooges office and makes a long and touching speech about Christmas and unwisely Bob claps at the speech which was a bad mistake as Scrooge gets very close to sacking Bob for that one incident there and then.
Scrooge is unnecessarily rude and impolite towards Fred who just comes to see his uncle just to wish him a merry Christmas and ask him if he would like to join him and his fianci?? e for Christmas dinner. Then scrooge repeats his bad tempered catchphrase ‘Bah Humbug’ and tries to get Fred to leave his office. He says, ” Everyone who celebrates should berried with a stake of holly through his heart ” and refuses to come and take up Fred on his invite to Christmas dinner and continues to say “Goodbye”.
Next two gentlemen from a charity come to Scrooges office and ask him to give some money and scrooge refuses when they ask him how much he wants to pledge, Scrooge replies, “Are there now work houses and no poor houses that they can go to” then the men say “yes there are but they would sooner die than go there, with that Scrooge replies “then they better do it and decrease the surpluses population”. Also the two men ask how much to give and he says “nothing” with the two men replying ” you wish to remain anonymous” then scrooge says” I wish to be left alone”.
He refuses to have his name out down (not because he wants to remain anonymous) but because he doesn’t want to waste his money. The two men leave unhappy and amazed that scrooge can be so mean and miserly when he has so much money and when its Christmas too. After scrooge finishes work and has thrown a carol singer away from his office he goes and has dinner in a dark tavern then goes home to his called, lonely and dark house. Now in the story it starts to get ghostly and supernatural.
As scrooge returns to his home and is about o unlock the front door he sees his old business partners face, Jacob Marley in the knocker of the door, which spooks scrooge but doesn’t really affect him. Then scrooge goes into his house and hears some chains and bells ringing, and then all of a sudden he hears Jacob Marley. Scrooge is then reluctant to believe that it is Jacob and think she is imagining it. Marley then tells scrooge that then chains that he is wearing he forged in life through all the bad things he had done when he was living and if scrooge doesn’t change then he will have the same fate as Marley.
Marley then goes and flies out of the window. Marley’s ghost and a whole chorus other ghosts wailing and screaming outside scrooge’s window after he tells him that he will be visited by three ghost. Then scrooge gets visited by the first ghost, ‘The ghost of Christmas past’ who takes scrooge to his old school and shoes him all his class mates and also when he worked for his old employer, Mr. Fezzywig and also when he was engaged to his fianci?? e but shoes the brake up between them. The next ghost to visit scrooge is ‘The ghost of Christmas present’ who is big, cheerful, happy and charitable ghost, which is the complete opposite to scrooge.
He shows Scrooge many things for example how Bob Cratchit have to live, how they celebrate or try and celebrate there Christmas and even though they have little if any money they are all happy and merry and Bob even finds it in his heart to toast Scrooge which Mrs Cratchit finds bad to say the least. He shoes scrooge how his nephew celebrates Christmas with his fianci?? e and friends. Finally he shows Scrooge two children called ‘Want’ and ‘Ignorance’ and finally the ghost blesses all men, beggars and prisoners, as they celebrate Christmas. The fourth and final ghost is ‘the ghost of Christmas yet to come’.
This ghost is dressed all in black and has a black hood on so you can’t even see his face. This ghost doesn’t talk at all and makes Scrooge think for him self and work everything out on his own. He shows scrooge some people-talking bout the death of someone who they didn’t care about and scrooge doesn’t know its him. At the very end the ghost points to a grave, Scrooge goes to read the name on the grave, which is ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’. Scrooge wakes up in his own bed with all his own personal belongings and bed cloths.
He opens the window and shouts to a young boy to ask what the day is… the boys says its Christmas day of cores and asks if the Prize winning turkey is down the street still and for sale, the boys says it is and Scrooge asks the boy if he can go and buy it for him and he will give him some money if he goes and gets it, the boy agrees and Scrooge throws down some money and off the boy runs as fast as possible. Finally in the play scrooge goes round to Bob Cratchit’s house with a giant turkey and have a large happy Christmas feast where tiny comes out with one of the most memorable and well known lines from the novel which is “God bless us everyone”.
Overall I feel Scrooge meeting the ghost was a large area of change for Scrooge and overall had the largest part in playing when changing from a miserly old skin flint to a humble, happy and merry old man. Scrooge changes his ways as a result of the three ghosts and Jacob Marley. Scrooge becomes a better person overall and changes for the better and treats everyone nicely and like a human being even all the children especially ‘Tiny Tim’ and Scrooge as the book says becomes “like a second father to tiny Tim”.