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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The moral of A Christmas Carol is, in its simplest statement, that we should be kind to and take care of others. Of course, the story develops this basic moral with added details and glimpses into circumstances of situations when such behavior has particularly been lacking in the character and actions of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Jacob Marley's ghost explains to Ebenezer that all people should be involved with taking care of others, ensuring the welfare of those who were in need and providing for the benefit of all.

My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house-mark me!...any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness...The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business.

The Ghost of Christmas Past shows Ebenezer how deeply meaningful simple acts of caring were or could have been at times in his past. Ebenezer justifies the actions of the Fezziwigs to the Ghost, and recognizes a change he could make in his relationship with Bob Cratchit.

He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome;...The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune....I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now.

The Ghost of Christmas Present introduces Ebenezer to scenes of Christmas joy in varied locations and conditions. Regardless of the luxury or hardship in which the party was located, in all the places they viewed there were people loving and sharing with each other. This heightened the shock when Ebenezer is shown the children being shielded by the Ghost's robe - children separated from humanity by Ignorance and Want in an uncaring world. Ebenezer cannot understand how they are unable to get help until the Ghost answers with Scrooge's own words.

Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge. "Are there no prisons!" said the Spirit..."Are there no workhouses?"

When the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Ebenezer the joy with which his death is greeted by those who sold his bedclothes and other belongings; when Ebenezer views the anguish in the Cratchit family following the unnecessary death of Tiny Tim; when Ebenezer realizes he is fated to die alone and unmissed, he declares his intention to change. And, when he awakens to realize that he has been given the opportunity to do so, Scrooge

became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.