The Characters of the Three Ghosts in A Christmas Carol

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How does Charles Dickens present the characters of the three ghosts in

A Christmas Carol.

In this essay, I will find out how Charles Dickens presents the

characters of the three ghosts in ‘A Christmas Carol’. This story is

about Scrooge. He was a selfish man who had a solely friend, called

Jacob Marley. After seven years of Marley’s death, on Christmas Eve,

Scrooge saw Marley’s ghost dragging chains of cashboxes that Marley

forged in life. Marley told Scrooge that three spirits would visit him

and change his fate. Dickens’ early life had influenced his view on

the importance of helping others. In Dickens’ early life, he worked in

a workhouse and his job is to paste labels on bottle which is a boring

and hellish job. He became a law clerk eventually but it was still

tough work. This can be a reason why he has strong sympathy towards

lower class people who work very hard and get little money. Hence, he

creates a character called Bob Cratchit and he is a clerk who works

for Scrooge. Cratchit has a big family with lots of children. He is

oppressed by Scrooge and he gets little salary. Clearly, Dickens is

trying to present Bob Cratchit as ordinary people at that time so that

he engages with them.

The three Ghosts of Christmas represent the past, present and future

of Scrooge’s life. The first ghost, Ghost of Christmas Past, Dickens

describes it as ‘like a child’ but it also describes it as ‘like an

old man’. It signifies the past when Scrooge was young but he is old

now. The ghost’s hair ‘was white as if with age’ reveals the gain of

life experience from the past and maturity. Dickens also pictures its

arms which ‘were very long and muscular’. The purpose of the ghost’s

strong arms is to hold plenty of mem...

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...and how will his neighbours react. Scrooge’s neighbours take

things from him and even the curtains from his bed and shirt off his

back. Dickens presents this ghost as a scary character unlike the

first two ghosts because the purpose of Christmas Yet to Come is to

scare Scrooge. It is vital for Scrooge to know what others think of

him so he could change. The ghost is scary because it has the

responsibility to make sure Scrooge would change as this is the last


Dickens’ purpose of writing the story is to remind people to help

others and don’t be selfish. The purpose of the story is to entertain

and to teach. It also tells us that nothing can buy happiness from

being with families and friends. Dickens has been successfully

achieved his aims as the set out of the story is interesting and

meaningful by presenting three ghost to ‘frighten’ his readers.
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