What is the summary of stave 2 of A Christmas Carol?

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Stave two tells the story of Scrooge's encounter with the first of the three spirits whose visits were foretold by the ghost of Jacob Marley. The spirit identifies itself as "the Ghost of Christmas Past...your past."

It returns Scrooge to scenes from his earlier years, where Scrooge is an unseen...

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Stave two tells the story of Scrooge's encounter with the first of the three spirits whose visits were foretold by the ghost of Jacob Marley. The spirit identifies itself as "the Ghost of Christmas Past...your past."

It returns Scrooge to scenes from his earlier years, where Scrooge is an unseen and unheard observer who nonetheless eagerly takes in the action and discovers new insights as he watches the scenes. Scrooge regrets not having given something to the "boy singing a Christmas carol at my door last night" after seeing himself as a lonely young boy.

Scrooge feels some regrets about the way he treated Bob Cratchit after remembering his apprenticeship and observing the Christmas Eve party hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Fessiwig.

He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil....I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now.

In their final stop, Scrooge and the Ghost look in on the woman Scrooge had loved until his love of money grew stronger, now a loving wife and mother, and Scrooge understands that "another creature, quite as graceful and as full of promise, might have called him father, and been spring-time in the haggard winter of his life."

Overcome with remorse and regrets at what could have been, Scrooge begs to be released from the Ghost's influence. Extinguishing the Ghost's light, he finds himself alone in his bed.

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In Stave 2 of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge gets a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past, who shows him his lonely childhood and a later time when he was happy, before all he cared about was money.

At the beginning of the story, we are introduced to the vile old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge.  In Stave 2, we find out how he got that way.  Scrooge’s old partner Marley arranges for him to have a visit by three ghosts, who will show him the effects of his behavior.

In Stave 2, he is taken back to his boyhood.  We see Scrooge as a lonely little boy whose father abandoned him at school. 

“The school is not quite deserted,” said the Ghost. “A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still.” (ch 2)

One day his sister arrives to take him home, and life gets a little better for young Scrooge.  He is apprenticed to the jolly Fezzywig, who has parties at Christmastime.  Scrooge even gets engaged, to the lovely Belle.

Unfortunately, Scrooge does not stay on the path to happiness.  Still poor, he begins to worry more about money than love.  As he gets richer and richer, he gets lonlier.  Belle sees this change in him.

Another idol has displaced me; and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come, as I would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve.” (ch 2)

She is aware that Scrooge is more concerned with money than with love.

So Scrooge ends up alone, as the grumpy old miser we meet in the beginning of the book.  He was clearly stunted by the lack of emotional sensitivity he had as a child, but in the end it was his choices that made him lost.

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