A Christmas Carol Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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What does Scrooge say that he vows to do if he can continue living?

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After surveying several frightening scenes with the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, Scrooge finally arrives at his own grave. Horrified, Scrooge begins begging the Spirit for a different outcome. He asks if the visions he has seen are visions of things that will be or visions of things that could be. Scrooge wants hope.

Thus, he makes a vow to the Spirit:

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.

Through memories of lost love, a view of his nephew's regard for him, a reminder of the spirit of Tiny Tim, and a glimpse at his own eventual demise, Scrooge has seen that life is not best lived counting coins. He realizes that great happiness comes not from acquiring more wealth but from engaging in meaningful relationships and sharing wealth with others who are less fortunate.

Scrooge vows that if he can alter his future, he will be a better man. He will take the Spirit of Christmas with him in his daily life, being more joyous, generous, and genial. By doing so, he hopes to alter not only his own outcome, but the outcome of others—especially Tiny Tim—as well. He hopes to recall these lessons daily as he reconstructs his life with more meaning.

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