Who is Belle and why was she important to Scrooge?

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poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Belle is the beautiful young woman to whom Scrooge was once engaged. Scrooge manages to see Belle again when the Ghost of Christmas Past reveals a pivotal moment from their relationship.

Belle is described as a "fair young girl in a mourning dress... in whose eyes there were tears." Belle tells Scrooge that he has too much fear of the world and that everything important to him has receded in the face of his desire to be beyond the world's reproach. Belle claims that Scrooge's noble aspirations have been left behind and that he is only interested in gaining. 

The two had entered into their engagement when they were both poor. Since Scrooge has developed an obsession with accumulating wealth, he has changed dramatically. Belle, thus, decides to end their engagement, citing his "changed nature" and telling him that she is still full of love for the man he once was. 

This is significant to Scrooge because it shows him exactly what his greed has cost: the love of his life and his only chance for marital bliss. 

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the section of A Christmas Carol with the ghost of Christmas past, we learn that Belle was once Scrooge's girlfriend. She rejected him because he changed too much. She tells 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.”

“What Idol has displaced you?” he rejoined.

“A golden one.”

In other words, the love of gold or money has replaced Scrooge's love for her and so she breaks off their relationship. Scrooge later sees a vision of Belle who has married someone else and is surrounded by loving, happy children.

drgingerbear eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Belle is Scrooge’s former fiancée. She was visited by Scrooge with the Ghost of Christmas past. When Scrooge sees Belle, he is reminded of his greed. Because he loved money more than love, he lost Belle and therefore he lost the only happiness he had in his life.

wolfarmy | Student

I would like to add that at the time that Scroog was engaged to Belle, he did not so much love money, but was afraid of poverty.

Scrooge sais to Belle "there is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the persuit of wealth!"

jennie25 | Student

Belle was Scrooge's fionce. Scrooge said that she was the only person he ever loved.


Some of the new movie versions of A Christmas Carol make Belle Scrooge's sister.