"A Christmas Carol", in what way are the rooms a reflection of Scrooge's character and how is the setting transformed by the ghost of the present?

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fezziwig's profile pic

fezziwig | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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The rooms in which Scrooge resides are as empty and  "gloomy" as Scrooge's soul. Dickens tells us that the rooms "were a gloomy suite of rooms." The adjective "gloomy" is describing the rooms as melancholy and depressing; these rooms are without happiness, just like Scrooge; after all, Scrooge lives there, and much can be said about a person by the dwelling that person keeps.

When Scrooge enters his home and slams the door shut, Dickens tells us that "every room" in the house reverberates with an echo; here we see just how empty Scrooge's home is, for an echo is created within an emptiness; this emptiness is symbolic of Scrooge's soul; it is void of love.

To accentuate Scrooge's loveless soul, Dickens tells us that the fire in Scrooge's fireplace is a "very low fire." "Fire" is a symbol for many things, one of them being the soul. Scrooge's "low fire" is a direct characterization of Scrooge's soul; there is not much passion or life in his soul, but the fact that there is a small fire still there, is good, for that is all that is required to set the kindling blazing that Marley and the other Ghosts will toss on it later to cause it to rage with life and love again.

When the Ghost of Christmas Present arrives, Scrooge's room transforms into a "perfect grove." It is full of life; the life imagery is revealed in the "living green" that is hanging from the walls; there are "holly, mistletoe, and ivy" hanging everywhere. Along with the "living green," there is a "mighty blaze" in the fireplace, and last, there is an enormous mount of life giving food on the floor "heaped up. . .to form a kind of throne."

denisehallmark's profile pic

denisehallmark | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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The room is dark, drab, and stuffy, windows are closed shutting the rest of the world out, which reflects the disposition and character of Scrooge at the beginning of the novel. 

Once Scrooge has had his encounters with the ghosts, he becomes a new man, light hearted, excited, and airy, which reflects in the environment of his room. The breeze, light, and happy sounds that come in through his window symbolize the New Man he has become.

He is now willing to let others into his life instead of shutting them out, as the window shutters indicate.

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