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A Christmas Carol was about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge who is a businessman that is greedy, rude, unhappy, and completely focused on making profits. Scrooge has a series of ghosts appear to him that show him his ways and change his outlook on life. When he wakes up on Christmas morning, he is a changed man and is much happier than he was before.
When the play starts out, Scrooge’s nephew comes to visit him and invite him to have dinner at his house with his wife for Christmas, as he does every year. Scrooge rudely declines his offer, as he does every year, and dismisses him by saying humbug every time he says Merry Christmas. Right off the bat, we see that Scrooge is not a very nice person and that he doesn’t like Christmas. We also see that he is a very business focused man who doesn’t have any interest in things that don’t give him value. Later in the play, we see that Scrooge’s wife left him because he only saw things as a gain or loss. She says that although he might be sad for a short time, he will move on very quickly and just write it off as a loss. We also learn that he is a very wealthy person, but chooses to be very stingy with his money on several occasions. He sees children in the street, who are dressed in rags and are visibly hungry, begging for money and instead of having pity on them and giving them some money, he scares them off. Additionally, Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s sole employee, has a family of 6 that he needs to feed and obviously works very hard for Scrooge. However, Scrooge does not pay him much and treats him very poorly. We really see the true perspective of Scrooge come out when the charity workers come to ask for money in order to give people a meal and clothes on Christmas. Scrooge is very rude to the charity workers and tells them that he already gives to the soup kitchen and the prison. When the charity workers tell him that some people can’t make it to either of those, Scrooge says then let them die and decrease the surplus population. Needless to say, Scrooge had a pretty bleak outlook on life.
One night after returning from work, Scrooge receives a visit from the ghost of his old business partner that died 10 years ago. He tells Scrooge how he has to wear chains and continuously travel throughout the world because he lived such a bad life. He warns Scrooge that the same will happen to him if he doesn’t change. This is the start of the change in Scrooge’s attitude and perspective on the world. Scrooge receives visits from three ghosts that same night, the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, and the ghost of Christmas future. The ghost of Christmas past takes him back to his childhood up through when his wife left him and we see that Scrooge wasn’t always like he is now. He used to be happy and joyful, especially when he was with his wife. Scrooge sees how happy he used to be and how he transformed into the person he is now and he is tormented by his mistakes, which makes him full of regret, although he won’t admit it yet. The ghost of Christmas present shows him the dinner party that Scrooge declined to go to. Scrooge is having a great time playing games, but then is hurt when he is the butt of a joke about his demeanor. Here, Scrooge starts to see how people perceive him and it makes him sad. Scrooge also sees how much fun life can be again. The ghost of Christmas future shows Scrooge his funeral and the interactions that go on between people after the funeral. Scrooge is shocked and saddened because no one cared about him, and most people were actually happy when he died. After the ghost leaves, Scrooge pledges to be a new man and to make up for his mistakes.
Scrooge wakes up the next morning on Christmas and rejoices that he’s still alive and has time to make up for his mistakes. The demeanor of Scrooge has done a complete 180 from the beginning of the play. At the beginning of the play, Scrooge had a very mean, somber look on his face, while at the end of the play he couldn’t stop smiling and was dancing and skipping around. Additionally, Scrooge became extremely generous and outgoing, completely opposite of the beginning of the play. Scrooge buys the biggest bird in the town to give to his employee, Bob Cratchit, and his family because the ghost of Christmas present showed him the Cratchit family on Christmas and they had a very tiny goose for the whole family. Additionally, when Bob came into work the next day, he was late and thought that Scrooge would yell at him, like he usually does. Instead of yelling at him, Scrooge tell Bob that he’s going to raise his salary to help him and his family and then gives him the rest of the day off. When Scrooge saw the hungry children and beggars, he decided to give them some money, which was completely against what he did in the beginning of the play. He also found the two charity workers that had asked him for money at the beginning of the year. After apologizing profusely for his actions and how rude he was, he whispered in one of the charity workers ears and clearly told them that he wanted to make a big donation. Lastly, Scrooge decided to go to his nephew’s house for dinner and make him part of his life.
Scrooge changed completely from being a self-centered person that was only focused on his business to a generous outgoing person that wanted to help everyone. The development of Scrooge’s character over the course of the play and the changes that we see teach a couple valuable life lessons. The first is that life is not just about making money. As Scrooge finds out, there is much more to life than making money and there is a lot of joy in it. The second is that you should be generous and take care of the poor because they are just as important as the wealthy people in a society. This lesson comes out when Scrooge says that they should let the poor people die and decrease the surplus population at the beginning of the play. By the end of the play, Scrooge is donating a large sum of money to help the poor and make sure that they don’t die. Lastly, Scrooge shows the audience that you should live your life to the fullest every day because your time on earth is precious and you don’t want to be full of regrets like Scrooge was.
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