In A Christmas Carol, how does Scrooge react to the events that The Ghost of Christmas Present show him?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Ghost of Christmas Past is the second spirit to visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve. During their time together, the spirit shows Scrooge some scenarios which prompt very emotional responses. First of all, for example, the spirit and Scrooge visit the Cratchit family where a vacant seat indicates the death of Tiny Tim. On realising this, Scrooge reacts with disbelief and a strong sense of concern. He says to the spirit: "Oh no, kind spirit! Say he will be spared!" This is one of the first times that Scrooge has demonstrated concern towards another person, specifically to someone who is poorer than himself. For this reason, this is an important moment in the book.

Next, when Scrooge sees his nephew, Fred, and friends playing games in his absence, his reaction is very positive. Despite being mocked in the Yes and No game, Scrooge has become so "gay" and "light of heart" that he is able to accept other people's awareness of his character flaws without being angry or upset. Similarly, when the spirit takes him on a tour of hospitals and almshouses, Scrooge comes to understand the importance of hope, and the scene finishes with a "happy end."

What is clear from these reactions, then, is that Scrooge is undergoing an important change of heart. He is becoming more humanitarian, more understanding and more empathetic to those around him. He is prepared to make amends for the wrongs he has committed and is ready to learn his next lesson with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.


Further Reading:
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A Christmas Carol

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