A Christmas Carol Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol book cover
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How does the character of Scrooge change throughout the story?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write1,346 answers

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In the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the character called Scrooge goes through a catharsis - he manages,just in time as far as his age is concerned, to reinvent himself. He goes through an 'enlightenment' when the ghost of his old business partner comes back from the dead momentarily to tell him about the shackles of sin (greed, selfishness, uncharitable behavior, avarice and general penny-pinching meanness) and where it has led him in the afterlife. It has brought him nothing but misery - but Scrooge can avoid it if he manages to mend his ways before his own death. This requires remorse, sorrow and genuine shame on Scrooge's part. At first he doesn't seem to be learning any lessons - then there is an illumination (he asks what will become of Tiny Tim and now seems to genuinely care.) The change in Scrooge is a change of heart.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The change in Scrooge's character is the whole point of this short story.  If he did not change, there would be no story.

At the beginning of the story, Scrooge is a miserly man who seems to hate people.  He won't let his clerk have a warm fire and he won't participate in any sort of holiday festivities.

But then Scrooge is shown visions by the three spirits.  After that, he changes his character completely.  He realizes that he has not been behaving well and he mends his ways.  For example, he buys the biggest goose for the Cratchit family where once he would not have wanted Cratchit to even have a fire to keep himself warm at work.

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namtayadav | Student

first scrooge was a miserly man and later he becomes a generous man.

l03333 | Student

First Scrooge was a cold, hard man who loves money more than people. Afortunately, he is visited by his long dead partner, Marley, who warns him that his miserly behaviour will make him suffer for ETERNITY, unless he follows the advice of three ghosts that will come to see him very soon. After this , Scrooge change his mind and became a lovely , generous and kind-hearted old man.

skparmar777 | Student

in the beginning, Scrooge was a cruel old man with no Christmas spirit. During the visits of the ghosts, Scrooge realizes what a joy the holidays are, and what he was doing wrong. He changes his ways in the end to become a jovial, happy, benevolent, and generous old man.

shobhit20071994 | Student

As we saw in the play that before the visiting of three ghost scrooge become money minded. he gave importance only money. the relationship between his nephew became very bad. he did not gave the importance for christmas. he always said christmas as a "humbug". But after the visiting of three ghost he became totally changed person. his rudedly behaviour towards his nephew become changed. he became his persistance guest. his heart beame change for christmas. he gave importance for christmas. he also adopted tiny tim as a second father. he increased the salary of bob crachit. for showing these things we can say that after the visiting of three ghoast scrooge become change person.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the beginning of A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge  has not much to offer humanity except for his word.

  "And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to."

He is described as a cold man with hardened features who shared little and hung onto every penny.  He kept to himself, had no friends, and attended no social events.

"But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster."

His clerk is kept with a small fire in a dismal office.  He wishes Scrooge a Merry Christmas but Scrooge rebukes his attention. 

Marley's ghost visits telling Scrooge that three spirits will visit him.  Scrooge attends different times in his life with the spirits.  He is scared that if he does not change he will be the alone and not at all missed old man he had seen in the future.  When he realizes it is Christmas morning he begins to feel joy.  He had not experienced joy in many years.

"Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs."