How does the Ghost of Christmas Present compare to the Ghost of Christmas Past?

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In Charles Dickens's novella A Christmas Carol , three spirits visit Scrooge in order to help him change his miserly ways. The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first spirit to visit Scrooge. This ghost presents itself in an ethereal, shifting form, with an intense and bright light surrounding...

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In Charles Dickens's novella A Christmas Carol, three spirits visit Scrooge in order to help him change his miserly ways. The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first spirit to visit Scrooge. This ghost presents itself in an ethereal, shifting form, with an intense and bright light surrounding its head. The ghost carries a metal cap that Scrooge uses to extinguish it when he can not bear to witness any more of his past after he revisits how he has turned into such an uncaring, greedy, and wealth-oriented man. The Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge the errors of his ways, but the ghost is not unkind to him. Rather, it simply and gently presents the visions of the past that help Scrooge realize that he must change his ways.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is the second spirit to visit Scrooge. This ghost presents as a giant and jolly man, with green robes and brown curls. The spirit is festive and represents the joy of Christmas and the good of humanity. This spirit shows Scrooge how others in his life celebrate Christmas, as well as how Scrooge presently is negatively affecting their lives. Particularly, Scrooge must bear witness to the impoverished life of his employee, Bob Cratchit, and the Cratchit family. While the spirit represents the present, he also gives an inclination of the kind of joy Scrooge could be experiencing if he were to change his ways. The spirit chastises Scrooge for his greedy and uncaring ways and quotes Scrooge's unkind words about impoverished and sick children when Scrooge voices concern for his employee's sick son, Tiny Tim. The Ghost of Christmas Present appears more in a human form than the other two figures.

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During Staves 2 and 3 of "A Christmas Carol," Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past and the Ghost of Christmas Present. When comparing these two ghosts, the reader is immediately struck by their differences.

Physically, for example, the Ghost of Christmas Past is described as being "like a child" with a voice that is "soft and gentle." The ghost also has a clear jet of light protruding from his head. In contrast, the Ghost of Christmas Present is a "jolly giant" with a "cheery voice," and an "unconstrained demeanour." Beneath his skirt, he hides two children who symbolise "Ignorance" and "Want."

But the ghosts share some similarities, too; and one of the most important is their shared mission to set Scrooge on the path to redemption. Both ghosts carry out this mission by showing Scrooge how his actions impact other people. The Ghost of Christmas Past, for instance, uses memories of childhood and youth to show the pain that Scrooge inflicted on others, particularly Belle, his former fiancee. Similarly, the Ghost of Christmas Present demonstrates how Scrooge's contemporaries, like the Cratchit family, feel about him.

Ultimately, both ghosts are successful in their endeavours: by the time Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, he is ready to transform his character and to make amends for the wrongs he has committed.

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