What Does Scrooge Learn From The Ghost Of Christmas Past

What lesson did Scrooge learn from each spirit?

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From his travels with the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge sees his progression from an innocent, neglected child to a responsible, choice-making adult.  He was not at fault for the treatment he received when he was young, but, as he aged, he started making bad decisions of his own accord.  He realizes that it is his own fault that he lost Belle, because he valued money over her love.  He also realizes that he is not a very good boss when faced with his memories of Fezziwig's generosity.

From his travels with the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge learns that little is more important than family; his clerk, Bob Cratchit, is poor, but he is happier than Scrooge because he has his family's love.  He also sees his own nephew participating in a game that teases Scrooge, but Scrooge himself is warmed by the fact that he is remembered at all and wishes he could stay there.  He also sees various people, in difficult situations all over the world, celebrating the holiday together, and he realizes that, even though he is rich in wealth, he is poor in friends and spirit.  Finally, when he sees the specters of Ignorance and Want, he begins to realize that humankind is his business, despite his earlier insistence that it was not.  He begins to realize that he should care about his fellow human beings and try to help them when he can.

From his travels with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Scrooge learns that, if he continues to live the way he has, there will be no one to mourn him when he is gone.  He will leave absolutely no positive impact on a single person, except for those people who rob him in death or get extensions on their loans and benefit from him that way: a horrifying prospect.  He learns that a small child, Tiny Tim, will be remembered much more faithfully than Scrooge ever will be because the child knew how to love and Scrooge has forgotten.  

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In general, Ebenezer Scrooge learned the same lesson from the three spirits.  From all of them, he learned that he needed to turn his life around and be a happier, more caring person than he was at the beginning of the story.  Each spirit taught him a different part of that lesson.

The first spirit shows him that he (Scrooge) used to be a much happier person.  This shows him that it is possible for him to be that way again.  This spirit also shows him how important it is to be kind because of the impacts that has on others.

The second spirit shows him that he is now something of a tyrant and that his behavior makes problems for other people.  It also shows him that people can be happy without having as much money as Scrooge wants to have.

The third spirit shows him what will happen if he doesn't change his ways.  It shows him that his current behavior makes it so that no one loves him or even cares about him.

Between them, the three teach Scrooge that it is important to act more kindly and humanely towards other people (and even towards himself).

mkcapen1 | Student

Mr Scrooge was living a life of misery without even being aware just how awful he really was in "A Christmas Carol." Inorder to help Mr. Scrooge to betetr understand his need to change he is visited by three spirits.

The first spirit takes him on a journey into his past. He sees himself as a child and he is happy. He remembers what it was like to have been a joyous young man with hopes and dreams. He learns what is missing in his life.

The second spirit is Christmas present. He takes Scrooge to see how other people act and speak of him. He shows Scrooge the love that the Cratchets have for one another despite having no money. He also sees their need for help for their son, Tiny Tim. Scrooge learns to see the balance between money and family.

The third ghost shows Scrooge all the non-blessings his choices have allotted him upon his death. He is not missed nor mourned by others. Instead, they express relief and joy at his death. He died alone and miserable. In contrast is Tiny Tim's death. The boy is missed and longed for by his family. Scrooge learns that if he does not change he will be the miserable man in the casket who no one loves or cares about.

Overall the three spirits teach Scrooge to be a better man.

Read the study guide:
A Christmas Carol

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question