Scrooge's meeting with the Ghost of Marley in Stave I sets off the chain of events that lead to the miserly man's life-altering experience. Scrooge had already expressed his disdain for the Christmas season in an earlier conversation with his nephew, Fred; but Fred does not allow Scrooge's disparaging remarks to ruin his own spirit of the holidays, wishing Scrooge well as his uncle rudely dismisses him with his trademark "Bah!... Humbug!" His old partner's appearance brings fear into Scrooge's heart when Marley warns him that Scrooge, too, is destined to follow Marley's deathly plight to forever wander the earth.
The happy moments of Scrooge's life that seem to be lost in his memory return to him in Stave II. He is jolted by the vision of his sister, Fan, and the kindness exhibited by his old employer Fezziwig. But it is the visit with his former fiance, Belle, that disturbs Scrooge the most, and he realizes that he forfeited his one true love because of his love of money. In the next segment, Scrooge gets a glimpse at the life of Bob Cratchit's family, and how his own penny-pinching ways have affected them. Scrooge again sees his nephew, Fred, who defends his uncle against the mean-spirited remarks made by his guests. But it is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come that creates the most lasting impression in Scrooge's mind: When he witnesses the events that surround his own death--people stealing and arguing over his possessions, and joking about the cheapness of the funeral--he finally recognizes that his life has been wasted. Another glimpse at the Cratchit family, mourning the death of Tiny Tim, and his own tombstone cause Scrooge to beg the spirit for one more chance at change.