In "A Christmas Carol," Dickens combines a description of the hardships faced by the poor with a heart-rending, sentimental celebration of the Christmas season. The novel contains both dramatic and comic elements, as well as a deeply felt moral theme. At the beginning of the novel, Ebenezer Scrooge is portrayed as a hardhearted and unsociable man. However, by the end of the novel, we see dramatic changes in him as a trio of ghostly visitations causes a complete transformation. Scrooge is transformed from an unpleasant and penny-pinching character to a charitable and kind man. This essay focuses on and examines the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, delving into his past, present, and supposed future. In the opening of the novel, "A Christmas Carol," Scrooge is depicted as a miser who refuses to provide enough coal to his clerk, despite the harsh weather, to keep the office warm. His greed is his downfall because he is so consumed with his money that he neglects the people around him. He spends his day counting profits and wishing that the whole world would leave him alone. His entire life is based on making more profits. Dickens describes Scrooge as a "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" and notes that "No wind that blew was bitterer than he," meaning he was harsh and very bitter. He also states that Scrooge is "solitary as an oyster," which means he did not open up to people and was often alone. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge's nephew invites him to a Christmas dinner, but Scrooge refuses and replies with his customary phrase, "Bah! Humbug!" refusing to share his nephew's Christmas cheer. He sees Christmas as a time for becoming "a year older but not an hour richer." After Fred departs, a pair of portly gentlemen enter the office to ask Scrooge for a charitable donation to help the poor. Scrooge angrily replies that there are prisons and workhouses, and they leave empty-handed. Scrooge is greedy and sees no reason to donate money to the poor. He thinks of them as idle and states that "if they would rather die than go to the workhouse, they had better do it and decrease the surplus population." Scrooge confronts Bob Cratchit and complains about Bob's wish to take Christmas day off. "What good is Christmas," Scrooge snipes, "that it should shut down businesses?" He reluctantly agrees to give Bob a day off, provided he arrives earlier to work the next day. Later that evening, Scrooge returns home through the dismal, fog-blanketed streets of London. Just before entering his house, the doorknocker catches his attention. He sees a ghostly image that gives him a momentary shock; it is the peering face of Jacob Marley, his dead partner. When Scrooge takes a closer look, the image disappears. With a disgusted "Pooh-Pooh," Scrooge opens the door and enters his house. He makes no attempt to brighten his home, as "darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it." While he is in his room, he hears the deafening sound of bell chimes and footsteps. A ghostly figure floats through the closed door of Jacob Marley, transparent and bound in chains. Scrooge shouts in disbelief, refusing to admit that he sees Marley's Ghost. The ghost comes to warn Scrooge of the horrible fate that awaits him unless he changes his ways. Jacob Marley regrets his past and has an everlasting feeling of regret. He warns Scrooge that if he does not mend his ways, a greater burden awaits him. Marley had not learned until it was too late that charity and kindness were important in human life. Scrooge focuses too much on wealth and not on people. However, Marley tells Scrooge he still has a chance to change before it is too late. He tells him three spirits would visit him. He then rises and goes out of the window.
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