A Christmas carol was written by Charles Dickens in 1843, it is based around the character of Scrooge, and a journey he has on the night of Christmas Eve. The theme of this book is that of social injustice and poverty, their causes and effects. Scrooge is a tight-fisted, cold-hearted, selfish man at the begging of the book, this is shown greatly through his description “The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice …
” this suggests a man who you would not like to cross or do anything that would get you in his bad books. I will be looking at how the different characters in this book change scrooge at the end of the novel. At the beginning of the book Scrooge is in his house having a little supper when he gets a visit from his old college Jacob Marley. Marley having died beforehand is naturally a ghost in this novel and plays a vital roll in setting up what will happen in the remainder of the story.
He has the same dress and appearance he had when he was alive but is transparent and has a chain attached to him, it is described as “long and wound about him like a tail; it was made… of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel. ” This gives the reader an image of what Marley’s chain looks like and gives an idea of what he did in his life. The chain is, as he explains, was made subconsciously during his life from what he had done and his actions while he was alive and has to bear it forevermore.
He is also described as having “an infernal atmosphere of its own… its hair and skirts, and tassels, were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven”. This also gives the reader an image of not only his chain but his appearance. Marley then goes on to tell Scrooge that he will be visited by three other ghosts, in an attempt to save him from the life Marley now has, the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. When Marley leaves Scrooge tries to convince himself that it was a dream and that he had eaten something bad.
The first ghost to arrive is The Ghost of Christmas Past; he is described as “androgynous”, and of “intermediate age”, he has a “head of blazing light” He takes Scrooge on a journey to his past and shows him first a ball at his first employer’s, Mr. Fezziwig, this makes Scrooge feel guilty about the way he treats Bob Cratchet, his employee, you can see this from the silence he has. Also the shock of the ghosts doesn’t hit him just yet as he still wants to go back to bed and pretend it was all a dream. Scrooge is still scared of the ghosts; you can see this as there is a hint of fear in his use of words.