A Detailed Look at The Role of Emotions in "A Christmas Carol"

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About this sample


Words: 983 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 29, 2018

Essay grade:
arrow downward Read Review

Words: 983|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 29, 2018

Essay grade:
arrow downward Read Review

Table of contents

  1. Hook Examples for "A Christmas Carol" Essay
  2. "A Christmas Carol" Essay Example
  3. References

Hook Examples for "A Christmas Carol" Essay

  • A Dickensian Journey into the Heart: Step into the enchanting world of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," where emotions run deep. Join me as we uncover the profound role of feelings in this timeless tale of redemption and transformation.
  • An Evocative Quote: Dickens wrote, "I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year." Let's explore how the emotional journey of Ebenezer Scrooge encapsulates the essence of this powerful holiday message.
  • Emotions as Catalysts for Change: Delve with me into the emotional evolution of Scrooge, from cold-hearted miserliness to the warmth of compassion. Together, we'll examine how his emotional experiences drive his transformation.
  • The Impact of Empathy: Explore how empathy and the emotions of other characters, such as Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, serve as catalysts for change in Scrooge and the narrative as a whole.
  • A Timeless Tale of Human Emotions: Though set in the Victorian era, the emotions and themes in "A Christmas Carol" remain relevant today. Join me in discussing how this classic story continues to resonate with readers, touching the depths of our own hearts.

"A Christmas Carol" Essay Example

“I wear the chain I forged in life… I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will, I wear it.” Jacob Marley’s words allude to the harrowing impact that emotions such as remorse have on the human psyche, as he is forever bound to the Earth by the chain formed from his own avarice.

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Charles Dickens’ novella ‘A Christmas Carol’, silhouetted against the backdrop of Victorian England, a time period rife with greed and inequality amongst the differing social classes, not only explores the impact of remorse, but also a plethora of other emotions. As the intricacies of the plot unfold, the essential tensions of the text are unveiled through the emotional entanglement of grief and loneliness. In spite of its emotional intensity, however, ‘A Christmas Carol’’ is, at its core, an allegory for how joy is the emotion which supersedes all others.

The novella echoes the impact that grief has on catalysing the amelioration of human morality. Dickens utilises the interactions between Ebenezer Scrooge and Belle as the vehicle through which he expresses such a belief in tandem with exploring the ramifications of leading a miserly life. Indeed, the breakdown of Belle and Scrooge’s relationship cautions the reader that an all-consuming lust for money can warp an individual to the point that it creates psychological rifts between themselves and those to whom they should be closest.

Scrooge’s grief from his realisation of having lost Belle to “another idol which has displaced her” is nonetheless one of the catalysts that allowed him to undergo a metamorphosis from a man with a “tight-fisted hand at the grindstone” to someone who is jovial and generous. The aftermath of the deterioration of Scrooge and Belle’s relationship shows how the impact of the resulting grief can result in significant improvement in attempting to rectify wrongdoings. Furthermore, the Ghost of Christmas Present incites “penitence and grief” on the part of Scrooge, bringing forth the realisation of what an embittered, miserly man he has become. Such grief impacted Scrooge to the degree that he becomes intrinsically driven to make changes to his lifestyle.

It is not only the influence of grief that is explored through the novella; Dickens goes beyond mere narrative to give valuable insights into the power of loneliness. As a man who is “solitary as an oyster”, the loneliness which permeates several facets of Scrooge’s life shows the impact that isolation has on the human spirit, as Scrooge devolves to become no more than a “covetous old sinner” as a result of his tendency to be deliberately emotionally distant to those who surround him. A personification of memory, the Ghost of Christmas Past presents Scrooge with visions of the early onset of his seclusion, as “a solitary child, neglected by his friends” preferring the company of books to the company of humans in his boyhood; such imagery underscores the impact of loneliness in the long-term.

Scrooge, emphatically “quite alone in the world” well into adulthood, is eventually confronted by the notion of remaining unremembered and unmourned upon his passing, thereby serving to instil fear within the reader of how loneliness instigated by isolation can have deleterious implications even beyond the grave.

Loneliness is not the sole emotion poignantly painted through the narrative, as remorse, too, is suggested to have equal if not greater impact on the human spirit. The spectre of Jacob Marley, having “no rest [and] no peace”, is plagued by the repentance which beleaguers him to the degree that he is eternally trapped in the physical plane of existence. It is through Marley’s characterisation as being inundated by the “incessant torture of remorse” that Dickens explicates how grievance can take precedence over one’s wellbeing and the degree to which it can potentially escalate. Scrooge eventuates to be as regretful as Marley upon seeing the visions of the enigmatic Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

The Ghost not only instils fear with its silence, but also by its symbolism of a march of time towards an undeniably fixed end. As a 19th century audience fixated with the idea of death and the afterlife, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come would further perturb the reader with its pessimistic predictions of the future. In presenting Scrooge with the vision of “a dark empty house, with not a man, a woman or a child” accompanying him as he passes away, Scrooge’s remorse consumes him and makes him realise that “men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends”, disturbing the reader through the implication that the decisions that they make in the present may also follow them to the grave. It cannot be said that exclusively negative emotions such as remorse are evocatively explored through ‘A Christmas Carol’’, as what truly lies at the heart of the book is the overriding influence of joy.

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Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is, indeed, an allegory for the impact emotions may have on human wellbeing. Through the emotional undercurrents that lie at the core of the novella, Dickens confronts the reader with the notion that upper class society may not be able to change their morally vacuous ways until they feel remorse for the ramifications of their actions, or lack thereof. In the words of Jacob Marley, “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”


  1. Tilley, H. (2007). Sentiment and Vision in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and The Cricket on the Hearth.'s_A_Christmas_Carol_and_The_Cricket_on_the_Hearth 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, (4).
  2. Kilgore, J. (2011). Father Christmas and Thomas Malthus: Charity, Epistemology, and Political Economy in" A Christmas Carol". Dickens Studies Annual, 143-158. (
  3. Cerny, L. (1997). Dickens' A Christmas Carol: revisiting and reformation. Connotations, 7(3), 255-272. (
  4. Gilbert, E. L. (1975). The Ceremony of Innocence: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. PMLA, 90(1), 22-31.
  5. Vidović, E. (2013). A Christmas Carol: Disability Conceptualised through Empathy and the Philosophy of ‘Technologically Useful Bodies’. International Research in Children's Literature, 6(2), 176-191. (
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Expert Review
The introduction could have been formed better by combining the first and second paragraph. A thesis statement is present in the second paragraph, but it is generally present in the first paragraph, that is, the introduction. The body has been divided according to the main points; however, none of the evidence has been cited. The conclusion revisits the thesis statement and provides the overall essence of the essay. Few errors in grammar and punctuation and grammar were identified. The word choice is good.

Cite this Essay

A detailed look at the role of emotions in “A christmas Carol”. (2023, March 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“A detailed look at the role of emotions in “A christmas Carol”.” GradesFixer, 01 Mar. 2023,
A detailed look at the role of emotions in “A christmas Carol”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
A detailed look at the role of emotions in “A christmas Carol” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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