Christmas Carol: Importance of Christmas through Ghost Characters

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Charles Dickens portrays the significance of Christmas through the three ghosts that appear to Ebenezer Scrooge. Firsthand, Jacob Marley’s ghost had informed Scrooge on the importance of appearances. Both characters had possessed egoistic features. He warns Scrooge of his chance of redemption to turn his life around. If he does not comply, he will consume the same fate Marley did. The fate Jacob Marley was faced with was having to roam the earth attached to chains for all of eternity. This resulted as a punishment for the countless sins he committed while he was alive. His ghost is recognizable to Scrooge and provides him with the fear of passing away to receive an unwanted lonely eternal fate. These visits will allow Scrooge to realize that each ghost represents a choice. The three ghosts who will guide Scrooge to his redemption are the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

The Ghost of Christmas Past first appears in a white robe, a beaming light flashes from the top of their head similar to a candle flame. He also holds a cap and warns that if he places it on his head, the light will be extinguished. It shows Scrooge his old boarding school where his father had abandoned him, and where he spent many Christmas’ alone. His mother had died during childbirth and the only person who cared about him was his sister, Franny. Ebenezer was able to see his time when he was happy as an apprentice. During this time, he was the life of the party at the annual staff parties. However, his attachment to gold grew stronger after his fiance left him. These events represent who he used to be. This ghost helped him understand how his childhood impacts the way he feels about helping other people. It shows that his attachment to gold had led him to believe that it was more valuable than having relationships with others. This had created his hatred toward the Christmas season. During this visit, he is able to uncover his feeling through the memories he had wanted to forget but had taught him valuable lessons. The readers are able to see how haunted he had become causing him to extinguish the light in the ghost. The remaining light left signifies that after this visit he will remember who he is and where he came from. These memories will give him the ability to help others. The importance of this ghost is to show Scrooge everything that shaped him. The second ghost he is visited by was The Ghost of Christmas Present.

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The Ghost of Christmas Present appears as a giant with dark brown curly hair. He was wearing a green robe with fur and on his head was a holly wreath surrounded with icicles. He carries a torch and under his robe are two impoverished children to represent the ignorance of society. This ghost takes Scrooge to many places. Two significant places that were shown are Crachit’s house and Fred Scrooge’s nephew. At the Crachit’s house, he saw their celebrations on Christmas day. Tiny Tim’s enthusiastic spirit was displayed. However, the ghost shows him that in the future, Tiny Tim’s seat is empty. The significance of this scene is that Scrooge starts to realize who the surplus population may include. Compared to the Cratchit family, Scrooge has everything. This allows him to see that sometimes having money to buy whatever you want cannot bring you pure happiness. Tiny Tim represents all the innocent children living in poverty who are neglected by society. Another person he sees is his nephew, who sympathizes with him. One of the pieces played was reminded Scrooge of his childhood. These visions help Scrooge to see how no one sympathizes for him besides Mr. Crachit and Fred. This ghost represents Christmas Ideal, his visions allow Scrooge to see goodwill, charity, happiness and celebration. He is able to compare how he was treated by others growing up to the way he treats people now. During these visions, he is able to learn about family values. Both people are shown happy due to the people that surround them instead of the money they earn. The importance of this ghost is to show Scrooge that money is not the key to happiness. The last ghost Scrooge was visited by was The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appears as a dark shadow in the wall that emerges into reality. This ghost had frightened Ebenezer the most. The readers can envision this fear when breaks down in tears and ask for mercy on his soul. He fears that his future will lead him to the same fate as his business partner, Jacob Marley. During this time, he sees a group of businessmen talking about the death of a wealthy man. A couple shady people robbed this man of all his possessions because no one had cared to take them into their own account. There was then a relief brought onto a family during dinner about this man because they had owed him money but were struggling financially. The last vision he saw was the Crachit family struggling to cope with the death of a loved one, Tiny Tim. Scrooge had begged the ghost to reveal the identity of the wealthy man, due to the resemblance he saw to his life. When discovered it was him, he wishes to unsee the future as he fears he fate once he vanishes. At this moment, he promises that he will cherish the Christmas spirit with his heart and will live by the lesson he was taught by all three of the ghosts. This Ghost shows him a Christian aspect, one choice between heaven and hell. He installs the fear of death and the afterlife into Scrooge. He represents the disposition between punishment and reward. The other ghosts insure who he was and who he is capable of being. This ghost shows that if he continues to live without altering his morals with the lessons he has previously learned, his actions will not go unpunished. His mysterious figure creates an eye-opening opportunity for Scrooge and it leaves him wondering many things. After this visit, he is able to recognize the importance of Christmas, the perspectives of others and what it means to be a right-minded person. He is able to reconnect with his humanity, with understand the meaning of living life.

Charles Dickens indicates the importance of Christmas through three characters. At the end of this novel, his friend is able to save him from suffering the same fate he has to live with for eternity. He had altered into a more generous, compassionate, loving, charitable man. He had shared his wealth, created a relationship with his nephew, he gave Bob Crachit a raise in order to help them financially and he gifted them with a turkey on Christmas day as an act of generosity. The ghost of Christmas past allowed him to painfully remember his childhood experience, his time as an apprentice and how he lost the love of his life. The ghost of Christmas Present teaches him that money does not bring happiness, to understand the people he had shown ignorance towards and had altered his statement on the surplus population. The ghost of Christmas Yet to Come teaches him that he has a choice to make and that his decisions will not go unpunished. He instills fear within Scrooge by showing him that ignorance creates a guilty conscience. These ghosts display the true meaning of Christmas through a catholic aspect and by allowing readers to understand true happiness. Dickens teaches us the impact we are able to possess in our lives and in the lives of others.


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