The Change in Scrooge’s Character

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The Change in Scrooge’s Character

How does dickens show the change in scrooge’s character in ‘A
Christmas Carol’, look closely at the language used and how this
influences the reader

In 1843 Charles dickens wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ partly to make
people aware of the terrible conditions of the children of the poor.
In 1843 he visited the field lane ragged school and was appalled by
what he saw there/ ragged schools catered for the very poorest, hungry
children who roamed the streets, trying to teach them the basic skills
of reading and writing. He had also been shocked by a parliamentary
report by the children’s employment commission. Dickens was the most
popular novelist of the day and he soon realized that far more people
would take notice of the terrible conditions of the poor if he wrote
about them in a story.

‘A Christmas carol’ was published on 17th December 1843 and by the
24th he had sold 6,000 copies. Dickens called it a most prodigious
success., the greatest, I think, have ever achieved.

‘A Christmas carol’ is still widely read today and appears in many
versions including illustrated re-telling of the story for young
children. Hardly a Christmas goes by without a version of ‘A Christmas
carol’ appearing on TV in one form or another. The name of the main
character, scrooge, has come into general use in the English language
meaning ‘a miserly or mean person’.

In ‘A Christmas carol’ Dickens shows scrooge as an evil, nasty man by
using a long list of adjectives, he’s described with this sentence
“Oh! But he was a tight fisted hand at the grindstone, scrooge! A
squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old
sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck
out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and as solitary as an

Another way to show this is the way he talks to people, e.g. when his
nephew invites him to his Christmas party but he turns him down and
calls Christmas a ‘Humbug!’ and even worse, when 2 charity workers ask
him for a donation for the poor children, he says send them to the
work houses, if they would rather die they better do it, and decrease
the surplus population. This shows how much of a cold hearted,
covetous sinner he is.

Dickens makes us feel like he’s an evil man, he’s selfish and says
he’d rather the children die than donate his money to charity.

When the ghost of Marley visited scrooge in the night, he was shocked,
he first saw Marley’s face as the doorknob, then he was frightened
further when the ghost of Marley opened the door from the outside when

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Change in Scrooge’s Character." 27 Feb 2017

it was locked from the inside and entered the room covered in chains
and locks. He warned scrooge that he would be visited in the night by
3 spirits, one for Christmas past, present and future. They would show
him the bad things he’s done, doing and will do on Christmas day. If
he doesn’t change his ways then he will suffer the same fate that
Marley did.

The ghost of Christmas past took scrooge to the place were he grew up,
were his fiancé back then cancelled their engagement because he was
too greedy and obsessive with his work. He sees bob cratchit as a
young boy, were he’s sent off to work for scrooge, as his clerk.

There are signs that scrooge is having a change of heart, ”his face
had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years; but it had begun to
wear the signs of care and advice.” it also says “Spirit! Said
scrooge, show me no more! Conduct me home, why do you delight to
torture me?”

When scrooge meets the ghost of Christmas present he looks like a
king, he shows him when he said that awful phrase “ then let them die,
and decrease the surplus population“, when he realizes whats he’s said
he has a change in heart yet again, he didn’t know what he was
saying. He soon realises thats hes greedy with his money and he
should donate to the poor like he was asked and maybe increase bob
cratchits wages.

At the start of stave four scrooge makes it much more dramatic by
making the spirit sounds scary and evil, it says "The phantom, slowly,
gravely, silently, approached." this gives it a frightening image
which frightens scrooge when it visits him. Because the spirit
dosent talk scrooge gets angry and starts to shout at it.

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