Scrooge's Transformation in Dickens' A Christmas Carol Essay Sample


Dickens uses Scrooge’s redemption as the main focus of the novella. At first, it seems that it would be impossible for Scrooge to change. In stave 1, Scrooge is portrayed negatively as a misanthropist whose dislike of other people is shown by his attitude to charity: “it’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with others”.  however, by the time Scrooge is visited by the last ghost, his attitude to people and charity has changed, and he is willing to change, but he’s concerned that he’s “past all hope”. Despite his concern, Scrooge keeps his promise to change for the better and will start to change and set things right in the next stave. Dickens shows the reader that even the worst of people in the society can change and find redemption. To find redemption, they must make a choice to start changing their ways – Marley admits that his chains were forged his own “free will”. 

Throughout the novella, Dickens hints that Scrooge will be redeemed. In the scrooge visions, the Ghost of Christmas Past shows the reader that Scrooge wasn’t always mean spirited. The visions show us an insight into Scrooge past. We learn that Scrooge had a close relationship with his younger sister “Fan” and his failed engagement to “Belle”. This shows the reader that Scrooge is capable of showing love and kindness and implies that Scrooge can love again. It also shows that things like love and compassion were once important to him than money, and these things may become important to him again. Another hint is the change in Scrooge’s father, this foreshadows Scrooge’s own redemption. Dickens suggest that Scrooge’s father was a harsh man that abandoned his son at a boarding school over the Christmas holidays. Yet, when Fan comes to collect Scrooge, she tells him that their father “is so much kinder than he used to be”. 

Dickens doesn’t force scrooge into this redemption ark. The spirits that initiate scrooge redemption are sent to help him. They don’t force him to change but send him visions, to push him into the right direction. It’s Scrooge himself who must take the meaning of these visions and use that to change. Scrooge is able to redeem himself because he chooses to learn from what these spirits have shown him – he's determined not to “shut out the lessons that they teach”. The lesson that Scrooge learns to help him to realise that “the Time before him was his own, to make amends in”. This shows the reader that Scrooge can us the rest of his life to make up for his previous behaviour, the fact that Scrooge’s redemption is done of his own “free will” make it more powerful. 

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