Scrooge Transformation From An Angry Miser To A Benevolent Human Being
Charles Dickens’s allegorical novella, A Christmas Carol, is one characterized by compassion and forgiveness, isolation, family and redemption. In the text, the complexities of transformation are a resounding theme, portrayed through the use of imagery, symbolism, and characters. The protagonist, Scrooge, is associated with negative descriptions that deprive him of positive human characteristics; however, lighthearted connotations are used to describe his benevolent nature after his epiphany. Furthermore, Scrooge’s miserly characteristics change when he meets each Spirit as he becomes charitable in his affection and money towards the people around him. Moreover, the protagonist’s perspective on religion, unity and money takes a turn after he discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Hence, the intricate exploration of transformation is showcased.
At the beginning of the novel, Scrooge is described as a cruel, unfeeling character consumed by materialistic values; however, positive connotations are used to describe his benevolent nature after his epiphany. In the text, Scrooge is represented as closed, emotionally unavailable and cold. Dickens uses an excessive amount of description and metaphors to show the extent to which Scrooge’s personality goes against nature. Scrooge’s features are frozen-not from external cold, but by the ‘cold with him’ that sets him apart from the rest and creates a sense that Scrooge is isolated. Dickens uses three verbs to show how this internal cold ‘nipped…shriveled and stiffened’ the old man, affecting how he looked and even walked. He describes Ebenezer Scrooge as a ‘cold-hearted, tight-fisted, selfish man’ who despises Christmas and all things that incite happiness. From this, Scrooge’s antagonistic traits tarnish his character and accentuate his dark, greedy nature of as a miser who acts like a black hole, sucking all the joy and warmth from the world. However, the same man who “no wintry weather [could] chill him” completes his transformation in the final stave where he has become more emotional and charitable. He opens his windows on to a world where there is ‘no fog, no mist, clear, bright…Golden sunlight; Heavenly sky, sweet fresh air.” The description of ‘no fog, no mist’ reminds the reader of Scrooge from the first stave who carried around his own atmosphere of cold and desolation. This change in weather demonstrates how Scrooge has become more human and open to others. Moreover, the word “chuckle” is repeated often in the last stave that fits in with Scrooge’s new change of character. This cheerful and enthusiastic word encourages the readers to feel that he is now a humorous person who can share laughter with others and no longer puts up a barrier against those around him. Consequently, Dickens use of description and pathetic fallacy change throughout the story as Scrooge transforms from an angry miser to a compassionate human being.
One’s self-centered nature changes into a charitable one after being exposed to society’s abandonment of the poor. After Fred departs, two “portly men” enter to ask him for a charitable donation to help the poor; however, is rudely dismissed without the tiniest gift. In anger and frustration, Scrooge cries, “Are there no prisons…workhouses?” which highlights his ignorance and unwavering disconcern for the poor and destitute. Furthermore, his value on humanity is showcased when he shamelessly states how those who do not contribute to the economy should cease to exist and “decrease the surplus population.” It reveals Scrooge’s inhumane perspective on humans as on par with pests-animals of no value. Nevertheless, his corrupt mindset changes as he sees the children “Ignorance and Want” who represent Man’s worst enemies and the product of society’s abandonment of the poor. Disheartened by the ragged state of the pitiful children, Scrooge comes to understand his greatest flaws and self-imposed ignorance as a person. He is faced with his own words of ignorance from early in the story when the spirit replies “Are there no prisons…workhouses?” This sudden realization of his derogatory words and inhumane value on humanity spark a transformation in his character. In the final stave, Scrooge’s benevolence takes a more serious and costly turn. As he walks the streets, wishing everyone he sees a “Merry Christmas”, he greets the two gentlemen warmly and offers a surprisingly large financial gift. Through these actions, the readers can see a drastic change in a person as Scrooge is willing to share his money for a good cause and how he has become a more charitable man both in affection and in money. In addition, Scrooge act of paying for Tiny Tim’s medical fees and an act of gifting the Cratchits a “grand turkey” for Christmas exemplify his generous attitude and bountiful Christmas Spirit. Thus, Scrooge’s growth from being ignorant of the plight of the poor to somebody who playfully embraces the joy of Christmas and is charitable in his donations highlights Scrooge’s transformation from a corrupt miser to a benevolent person.
Moreover, the protagonist’s perspective on religion, unity and money takes a turn after he discovers the true meaning of Christmas.