Why is Scrooge powerless to lift the veil from the man who died? Why does he long to do so?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Scrooge cannot bring himself to lift the veil from the man who died because he fears that the dead man is in fact future Scrooge, whom the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is presenting to him. Scrooge is desperate to know if the man is actually himself because no one is at the man's funeral, and, in fact, many people appear to be joyous at the death of the man. Scrooge learns that the man is a merciless creditor, and a young impoverished couple celebrates the death of the wealthy man, who has kept them in poverty. When Scrooge can no longer bear not knowing if the unloved deceased man is actually him, he asks the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, and the ghost responds by transporting them to a scene in which Scrooge's office is being taken over by a new person. Finally, Scrooge is shown a grave inscribed with his own name. He knew all along that the dead man being shown to him by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was him, and he couldn't bear facing the reality that he is, in fact, a merciless, greedy, hateful, and hated man who would bring much more joy to other people from dying than from living.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial