Please explain the climax in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The climax of a novel, or a story, is the part of the plot where the conflict of the story reaches its highest intensity. A climax is preceded by the complication of the conflict. This is the pivotal part that changes a lot of the dynamics that take place.

In A Christmas Carol, the complication happens when divine intervention has to occur in order to somehow re-route the fate of Ebenezer Scrooge. This occurs in the form of the supernatural visit of Scrooge's deceased partner, Jacob Marley, who warns Scrooge about how his (Scrooge's) behavior will bring about horrible consequences for the man, even after death.

As the ghosts begin to appear, the complication starts to take a specific shape through a series of actions. Out of all of the activity, the visit of the ghost of the Christmas Yet to Come is the most intense of all, hence representing the most climactic moment of the novel.

In A Christmas Carol the climax occurs when the ghost of the Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge the outcome of his life should he continues his miserly ways the consequences that will befall others ultimately will affect him in this life and in the afterlife. First, Bob Cratchit will suffer tremendously because, as a result of Scrooge's ill-treatment of him, and of Scrooge's stinginess, there will not be enough money int he Cratchit household to get much needed medical attention for Tiny Tim, who is disabled.

This intense moment is a red flag in Scrooge's life because it changes him.

Spirit!" he cried, tight clutching at its robe, "hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!

Even as mean as he is, Scrooge is able to commiserate with Cratchit. But soon after, the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge's own demise: one where he will be forgotten; nobody attends his funeral, and nobody even remembers him. Seeing himself completely desolate on his last day of life is more than what he can fathom. It is the last of a series of hard hits that has dented the cruel psyche of Ebenezer Scrooge and has finally made him into a new man.

What occurs after the climax is the denouement, where we see Scrooge actually doing something as a result of the change; here he rekindles his relationship with Fred, sends the huge turkey to the Cratchits, along with a raise in salary for Bob, and he basically makes all the amends that he needs to do to make up for a life that has been wasted for no good reason.

user1521776 | Student

am not sure