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Greed in a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Outline

I. The purpose of this paper: To identify the present age’s materialistic mentality

through a 150 year old text by one of the greatest English writers of all times Charles

Dickens.

a. Dickens has shown his deep understanding of human nature and their love for

wealth and money.

II. Dickens has used his four-ghost approach for punch delivering.

a. Ghost of his former business partner.

b. Ghost of Christmas Past.

c. Ghost of Christmas Present.

d. Ghost of Christmas yet to come.

III. Repercussions of the dream Scrooge had and the consequences thereafter.

IV. Conclusion

a. The character of Scrooge is basically a metaphorical representation of each of

us. His parsimonious attitude and the sense of pride on his social status is not

only a reflection of the current era’s successful business tycoons but even the

losers share the same sense of pride.
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Synopsis

It is a simple story; definitely not one of Dickens masterpieces, but its simplicity and

sublimity is its strength. The story starts with Fred, Scrooge's nephew, visiting his uncle and

inviting him to annual Christmas party. Two chubby men also came and ask Scrooge for a

contribution to their charity. He rejects the Christmas dinner invitation, and yells at charity

workers.

Money has become the centerpiece of Scrooge’s life and his life revolves around it

due to which he was unable to pay any attention to his relatives and acquaintances. His soul

undergoes an insightful experience of salvation the night before Christmas when his former

partner (now dead) comes to haunt him along with three more spirits one after the other.

The spirits belong to his business partner Marley and Christmas Past, Christmas

Present and Christmas As Yet to come. These spirits take him through a journey down the

memory lane, guiding Scrooge along his virtually loveless present and seemingly bleak

future.

The ghost of Marley informs him that he may face a destiny similar to his after death

because of his stinginess and disdained attitude towards others. The ghost further told him

that there is a sleek chance of escaping this fate which will be revealed by the three spirits

who will visit him at night. Marley's ghost has been wandering since he died. His spirit has

been condemned to wander and weighted down with heavy bondage as penalty for being

consumed with business and not with people while alive.

At one o'clock in the night Ghost of Past materialized and took him on a trip to some

of the happiest and saddest incidents in his life. Scrooge revisited his childhood school days,

his apprenticeship with a good-natured merchant named Fezziwig and his engagement to

Belle, who leaves him because his lust for money. He was followed by Ghost of Present who
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shows Scrooge the paltry Christmas celebration of Bob’s family and also an anticipated

premature demise of their crippled son. He also came to know about his nephew's strong faith

that one day his uncle would change all this knowledge provided Scrooge with the necessary

impetus to rediscover himself. The Ghost of Christmas yet to come was the last spirit of the

night. He told him the Scrooge can escape his destiny and also Tiny Tim's untimely death can

be avoided if only he changes himself. All this multitude of knowledge about himself his

decisions and their respective repercussions motivate Scrooge to change his attitude at last

and to revert back to the generous and kind person he was in his youth.

The sight of his own headstone and the stinging fact that not a single soul will grieve

over his death forced Scrooge to see his attitudinal errors towards life in general and

Christmas in particular.

The biggest beneficiaries of his moral rebirth are his poor clerk Bob Cratchit and his

family, in particular the crippled boy Tiny Tim. Scrooge’s realizes his mistakes and delivers a

turkey to Bob, gives Tim a raise, gives a sizable donation to the charity worker he previously

insulted and also patches up with his nephew. Scrooge continues behaving in the same

manner after Christmas, befriending everyone and virtually becoming a second father to Tiny

Tim, who does not die. He never witnesses those ghosts again, but he continues to keep the

spirit of Christmas alive deep inside his heart.

This novel is an example of Dickens's vigorous and persistent opposition to the belief

that charity encouraged idleness and the poor ought to be left helpless. The author, in the

1843 Preface, writes “I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book to raise the Ghost of an

Idea which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the

season, or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”
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The story’s movie version in the form of Bill Murray comedy Scrooged, highlights

the character of its anti-hero Scrooge and his stingy attitudes more vividly. Scrooge’s

covetous and cold attitude was a reflection of the grim and stern Puritan values of the

Victorian age.

Works Cited

Dickens, C. A Christmas Carol (Paperback). CreateSpace. 2008.