"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 is the way Ebenezer Scrooge is described in the Charles Dickens novel, 'The Christmas Carol' which was written in 1843. Ebenezer Scrooge is the prominent character in this novel. Even in the beginning of the novel, the protagonist is described as someone who is cold hearted and greedy. He is someone who is against anything which makes people happy and often despises Christmas. Years saw Ebenezer Scrooge grow from a character to one which is indispensible in Christmas tales. His second name became a synonym for miserliness and misanthropy in English language. His story and the redemption by the three ghosts of Christmas is something which is widely narrated in Christmas tales. His catch phrase 'Bah humbug' is often said to express disgust with the contemporary Christmas traditions. Read further to know more about Ebenezer Scrooge and his importance in Christmas celebrations.
The Christmas Carol
Representative Of Victorian Era
The protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge is a greedy money lender who hardly has any feelings towards the fellow beings. He has only disgust towards the poor and is of the opinion that the world would look far better without the poor. As per experts, he is the representation of the Victorian people who had nothing but neglect towards the poor and thought only about their welfare.
Reflects The callousness
He does not appreciate fun and kindness and possess a particular hatred towards Christmas. The words, 'peace on Earth' and 'Good will to all men' are like knives pierced into the heart. His shabby treatment of his underpaid employee is also highlighted in the novel. We are also introduced to his only nephew who has great regard for Christmas and invites him for a Christmas dinner party which refutes. He is approached by two charitable men who ask him help to enable them raise funds to help the poor. To this Scrooge says that he pays taxes for the poor and dismisses them angrily. By portraying all this, Dickens is showing light into the indifferent and callous attitude of Scrooge.
Visit By The Spirit Of Jacob Marley
The first phase of his character transformation happens when he is visited by his late business partner, Jacob Marley who passed away seven years ago on Christmas Eve. Like Scrooge, Marley too was a miser in life. As a punishment of the evil methods and greed he followed, he is damned to wander in the earth eternally by carrying heavy chains which represent his greed. Marley warns Scrooge that if he did not change his methods, he too will suffer the same fate. Marley informs Scoorge three spirits would visit him late that night.
The Ghost Of Christmas Past
As per the promise, the spirit of the Christmas past visit Scrooge and shows him how his father abandoned him as a young child in boarding school during Christmas. This reflects the lack of empathy which created a stronger impact on Scrooge. The way he was treated made him a man of callous nature - a child who was not bothered about his father's concerns was grown into a man least bothered about his fellow beings. This also stresses the modern theory that poor and uncaring childhood leads creates a strong impact on the character of a person. The spirit also shows how his workaholic nature cost him his fiancee. The death of his sister with whom he shared a deep relationship shattered eventually leads to blaming her son as she died following childbirth. There is no love lost between him and his nephew. It also portrays his hatred towards Christmas as the events which affected his character took place during Christmas.
The Ghost Of Christmas Present
Scrooge is also visited by the spirit of Christmas present who shows him the happy family of his nephew. He also sees the poor living conditions of his staff who despite his uncaring attitude is happy with what they have in life. Their son is ill and in death bed, but the family cannot afford to treat him as the pay which Scrooge gives him is very less. Scrooge who possesses an intense hatred towards Christmas and the fun associated with it also refutes an invitation from nephew to take part in a Christmas dinner party. He also angrily dismisses two men who approach him to donate funds to help poor. He comments that he pays taxes for the poor.
The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come
The spirit of Christmas yet to come portrays the consequences Scrooge is likely to suffer if he did not change his ways. Tiny Tim dies which leaves the entire Cratchit family in sadness. However, when he dies, there is nobody left to mourn and some even find happiness in his death. The legacy which leaves behind after death is a cheap tomb in a dishevelled graveyard. Scrooge weeps sitting in front of his grave, asking the ghost to give him a chance to change the ways and awakes the next Christmas morning as a new man who embraces life with joy and happiness. The result is he becomes a model of kindness towards his neighbours, staff and family and his nephew, guaranteeing a new life for Tim.
The story of Ebenezer Scrooge is story of redemption of a man who was least bothered about Christmas spirit. Hope this article familiarised you with this popular character of Charles Dickens.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a prominent character in Charles Dickens Novel 'The Christmas carol'. Read further to know more about the traits of this character.