In A Christmas Carol, how is Scrooge's transformation central to some of the main ideas of the story?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Clearly there are plenty of themes running through this classic Christmas story, but I would like to focus on the theme of fear and how it is shown through Scrooge and then his transformation after the visitation of the ghosts. As we view the flashbacks and visions of the future that Scrooge endures and which have such a transformative impact on him, it is clear that one of the central reasons that Scrooge has withdrawn from the warmth of human society and devoted himself to the pursuit of wealth if fear. Note what his fiancee says to him to justify her ending of their engagement:

"You fear the world too much," she answered, gently. "All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid approach."

It is clear that Scrooge's fear and removal from the world is a result of some kind of bad relationship in his childhood or some form of childhood trauma, yet the ghostly visions he sees makes him realise that the result of his absence from the world and his single-minded focus on gain is worse than the fear of the world that emerges from this neglect in his childhood. Clearly Scrooge is afraid of his own death, but also of the death of Tiny Tim, which awakens his compassion and pity. His discovery that it is within his power to save Tiny Tim's life gives him the strength to help someone in a way that he has never helped anybody before, giving him the emotional relationship and connection that Scrooge unknowingly yearned for his entire life and defeating his overpowering fear that was preventing him from reaching out. We see a very different Scrooge at the end of the story, and a much happier Scrooge because of the way that he has conquered his fear.

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