How does Dickens present Scrooge's character in Stave Five of A Christmas Carol?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Charles Dickens presents Scrooge as a completely transformed man in the final stave of A Christmas Carol.  At the beginning of the book, Scrooge growls in his miserliness.  At the end of the book, Scrooge chuckles in his mirth.  This is exemplified in the following exclamation:

I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world.

Dickens goes even further than this, though.  Scrooge not only talks about how he has changed, Scrooge acts upon it as well.  The largest generous gestures involve Bob Cratchit and his family.  Specifically, Scrooge sends them the prize Christmas goose in order to cook for their dinner and begin another transformation:  that of Tiny Tim.  Next, Scrooge raises Cratchit’s salary in order to lift the Cratchit family out of the depths of poverty. 

As a final thought, Dickens adds that we should become like Scrooge here because “he knew how to keep Christmas well.”  Dickens indicates this by this sentence:  “May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”  The difference in Scrooge’s character is astounding.  In short, this final part of the book serves as a final contrast to the beginning.  It is now the reader’s best interest to behave like Scrooge in every way.

Read the study guide:
A Christmas Carol

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