Scrooge's Sister

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herappleness's profile pic

M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Stave 2: "The First of the Three Spirits",  Ebenezer Scrooge is taken to the past.  Scrooge knows who he will probably get to see again: his dead sister, Fan, or Fran.

For this reason, Scrooge was already on the path to redemption the moment he saw the door that would lead him to her. 

Scrooge looked at the Ghost, and with a mournful
shaking of his head, glanced anxiously towards the door.

He was correct in being nervous. When the door opened, it was none other than his sister, looking much younger than the little boy than he was at that time. 

It opened; and a little girl, much younger than the boy,
came darting in, and putting her arms about his neck, and
often kissing him, addressed him as her 'Dear, dear brother.'

The spirit of the child spoke to Ebenezer as if they were both small children. Scrooge is taken back to his schoolboy years, where he suffered at the hand of headmasters, and where he seemed obviously lonely and sad.

In this memory, Fan had come to take him "home" from school.  Things had supposedly changed in the household, and it was like "heaven". Their father is now kind, and he was who asked Fan to take a coach and get Ebenezer to spend many Christmases together as a family and finally happy. 

And you're to be a man.' said the child,
opening her eyes,' and are never to come back here; but
first, we're to be together all the Christmas long, and
have the merriest time in all the world.'"

This encounter really takes a toll on Ebenezer, especially when he has to tell the ghost that his sister has been dead for a while. In fact, she is the mother of Fred, Ebenezer's nephew and only family member remaining. Yet, Scrooge never really approaches Fred, not even being Fran's son. He refuses to accept Fred's invitations to get together, and even Fred's fiancee admits than trying is worthless. Either way, it may very well be that Fan/Fran's death could have been one of the first events that defined Scrooge's mean and angry persona, since she was one of the very few, and perhaps the only person, whom ever truly loved him. 

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mlsldy3's profile pic

mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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The ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge on a journey through his past. He is shown different stages of his childhood. Scrooge was sent to a boarding school as a young boy. His father was a hard man and when Scrooge's mother died, he takes his anger out on Scrooge. He is sent away from the family. 

The only person in Scrooge's family that means anything to his, is his sister, Fan. Fan represents all that is good in life. She was young and hopeful. Fan loved Scrooge and comes to get him to go home. She tells Scrooge that their father is a much nicer, gentler man now and wants his son to come home. You can see that Scrooge truly loves Fan. Fan dies as a young woman and has a son named, Fred. Her death hits Scrooge hard and he has never gotten over losing her. His nephew reminds him of Fan and he pushes Fred away because of this.

We are show just a small bit about Fan, but her presence in Scrooge's life is a remarkable one. She is the human side of Scrooge. Scrooge loved his sister and her death left a hole in his heart and his life. 

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fezziwig's profile pic

fezziwig | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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You should also know that Dickens had a favorite elder sister whose name was Fanny. So it is no coincidence that Scrooge's sister is named Fan.

docmelillo's profile pic

docmelillo | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Scrooge's sister is named Fan and is only mentioned once in chapter two:

"`You are quite a woman, little Fan!' exclaimed the boy."

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