All the ghosts visit Scrooge in one night and not the expected three. Discuss Dickens use of time in A Christmas Carol.Please discuss Dickens use of time, not the use of time  in particular.  I...

All the ghosts visit Scrooge in one night and not the expected three. Discuss Dickens use of time in A Christmas Carol.

Please discuss Dickens use of time, not the use of time  in particular.  I spoke about how the time periods are stretched out into one night to stress how choices affect us throught our lives, and Dickens's aim was to purposefully compress the visitations of the three ghosts into one night to highlight the insignificence of time constraints. give some texutal evidence as well.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are a few reasons that Dickens has the ghosts all visit Scrooge in the same night.  The main reason is a practical one.  For practical purposes, the story has to begin on Christmas Eve and end on Christmas Day.  Otherwise, Scrooge would have to wait an entire year to show he has changed.

The second reason that the ghosts all visit in one night is that Scrooge is unsure if it is a dream or not.  This possible dream scenario was important to Dickens.  He wanted people who did not accept the ghost story option to fall for the story, and he wanted there to be some question whether it was a dream and Scrooge redeemed himself, or if there was actual supernatural intervention.

Finally, to your premise.  Dickens does want to point out that the past affects the present and future.  Scrooge comments that the spirits can do anything they want:

“It's Christmas Day!” said Scrooge to himself. “I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night.  They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can.” (enotes etext p. 53)

He is thrilled when he learns that it is Christmas Day, and he has a chance to make right all of his previous wrongs.  It is very important to Scrooge that there is a future.

Spirit!” he cried, tight clutching at its robe, “hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this if I am past all hope?” (p. 50)

It is important to Scrooge that he was shown the future because he has a chance to change it.

 

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