How does Scrooge change when he sees Tiny Tim die and his own death in A Christmas Carol?
Scrooge is deeply affected when he learns of Tiny Tim’s death, and devastated when he realizes the man whose lonely life he has been seeing is his own.
By the time the last ghost comes for Scrooge, he considers himself a changed man. The ghosts want to make sure that their lessons stick, however. They show him what will happen to him if he doesn’t change. Since Scrooge thinks of himself as reformed, he doesn’t realize that he is seeing his future self.
When he sees the life of some man described, Scrooge feels sorry for him. Businessmen don’t care about him enough to come to his funeral, his servants rob him, and he has no family by his deathbed. Scrooge gets frustrated, and asks to see some emotion at the man’s death, and is only shown debtors who are happy he is dead. It is not what he wanted to see.
“Let me see some tenderness connected with a death,” said Scrooge; “or that dark chamber, Spirit, which we left just now, will be for ever present to me.” (Stave 4)
Scrooge learns that Tiny Tim died, and sees his family mourning. Scrooge was deeply affected by Tiny Tim before and the great love he saw in the Cratchit family. He is now saddened by Tim’s death. He wanted to see the boy live.
When Scrooge realizes that the man whose death he saw was himself, he asks the ghost why he is being shown all of these visions if he is beyond all hope.
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!” (Stave 4)
Scrooge vows to be a better person. He keeps his word. He becomes like a second father to Tiny Tim, who not only does not die but actually thrives. Scrooge himself does not die a lonely death, but becomes a pillar of the community. He is a friend to everyone, a supporter to the poor, and a man who lives life to the fullest.