In Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol, how do the three spirits relate to Scrooge's life?

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lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The three spirits that visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve are the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future.  The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge on a journey down memory lane, reminding him of a lonely Christmas spent by himself at boarding school with only the comfort of his books, and another when his beloved sister, who is now dead, came to bring him home from school.  The Ghost of Christmas Present shows him his employee's family celebrating Christmas with love and gratitude, despite the fact that they have very little, thanks to the paltry salary Scrooge pays Bob Cratchit, the father, and Scrooge also sees his nephew and the nephew's wife, celebrating Christmas and discussing Scrooge's surly ways.  The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge that if he doesn't change his nasty ways, he will die someday completely alone, while beggars pawn his possessions and businessmen contemplate attending his funeral only if they get a free lunch. 

Scrooge's hellish night of time travel leaves him awakening on Christmas morning, thankful that it's not too late to change, and declaring that forevermore:

 "I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. "The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!"


zarzar14 | Student

They show him what his past was, then show him what is happening at present with the little boy then shows him what will happen in the future the three ghosts are past present and future

Read the study guide:
A Christmas Carol

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