illustration of Ebenezer Scrooge in silhouette walking toward a Christmas tree and followed by the three ghosts

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

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How is redemption explored in A Christmas Carol?

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Redemption in A Christmas Carol is explored through Scrooge's transformation from a miserly, selfish man to a generous and kind-hearted individual. After being visited by three ghosts who show him his past, present, and future, Scrooge repents and changes his ways. He engages in acts of generosity, treats others with good cheer, and becomes social, ultimately finding joy and fulfillment in his new life.

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Scrooge redeems himself from a life of miserly selfishness by repenting of his past actions after being shown scenes of his younger life, his present life, and his future by the ghosts that visit him on Christmas Eve.

Because he is so sorry for how he lived, he is determined to change. When he wakes up Christmas morning, he is very grateful to be alive and to have a chance to make up for all his former greed. He redeems himself by immediately engaging in acts of generosity.

He also redeems himself with a change in attitude. Instead of being rude and cold to the people around him, he treats them with good cheer and happiness. He also reaches out and becomes social. For instance, he shows up at his nephew's house for Christmas dinner.

Dickens shows at the end of his book that redemption brings joy to the redeemed person. Scrooge's new life of generosity not only benefits those around him by making their lives happier and easier, but he himself becomes an individual who is joyful, contented, and fulfilled. In other words, Dickens illustrates that behaving in an openhanded and kindhearted way to those around us is a "win-win" situation that perhaps rewards the giver even more than the recipient.

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Ebenezer Scrooge experiences redemption near the end of A Christmas Carol.  First, Scrooge visits his past and sees where his choices have led him.  Then he sees life in the present and the impact of his choices on the people in his life.  Last, Scrooge sees what will happen in the future if he does not change.  He realizes that he will die without anyone mourning and that he will leave no legacy on the world if he does not change.  He begs the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come to give him a second chance.  He promises that he will learn from his experiences and honor Christmas.  Scrooge is given a second chance when he wakes up on Christmas morning.  He experiences redemption and changes his life for the better.

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The famous novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens tells of a cold-hearted miser named Ebenezer Scrooge, who dislikes Christmas and refuses to socialize during the holiday. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his deceased partner, Jacob Marley, who tells him that the only way to save himself from a dreadful afterlife bound by heavy chains forged by his greed is to heed the messages of three spirits that will visit him. These spirits—the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come—show Scrooge images from his childhood and youth, Christmas celebrations of those related to or associated with him, and a Christmas day in the future after he has died. Through it all, Scrooge comes to realize that he needs to change his ways, and he becomes much more kind and generous.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word "redemption" means "the state of being kept from evil or of improving morally." The Oxford Learner's Dictionary defines "redemption" as "the act of saving or the state of being saved from the power of evil."

In A Christmas Carol, Dickens explores the theme of redemption through the character of Scrooge. In the beginning, he is selfish and miserly. Scrooge undergoes profound trauma as the ghosts reveal to him important scenes from past, present, and future Christmases. He grasps the lessons he is supposed to learn, and as a result, he is redeemed from his punishment and becomes a much better person. We can see, then, that A Christmas Carol is a classic and effective exploration of the theme of redemption.

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Having lost love in his youth, Ebenezer Scrooge has become a miser of his gold and of his heart. Because he did not have the security of a loving family, the boy Ebenezer grew into a young man who found reward in making money; greed has become his passion. In Stave II, the Ghost of Christmas Past presents Scrooge with the vision of himself in the prime of his life as a pretty woman in a mourning dress tells him that the death she so sorely feels matters little to him,

"It matters little....To you, very little. 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."

The "golden one" is the idol which has replaced Belle. Much like Eliot's Silas Marner, Ebenezer finds in gold the comfort and security he has lacked from others. But, in his fixation upon making money, Ebenezer has lost sight of the worthy young woman's love.  Belle leaves him, saying,

"You fear the world too much…. All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach."

But, Scrooge has become a lonely miser and is, indeed, reproached by the world as he comes to realize during his journey with the spirits of Christmas. For, his is an unprofitable dream because there is no one with whom he can share life. The Spirits of Christmas Past and Christmas Present show Scrooge the rewards of kindness and of love with the visions of his nephew Fred and friends enjoying Christmas and the tender and loving moments of the poor Crachits, who enjoy their holiday as much as if they were rich. Finally, when the Spirit of Christmas Future presents Scrooge with the vision of his dead body, cold and alone, Ebenezer has an awakening to the true meaning of life:  It depends upon sharing.  Nothing is worthwhile unless he can share his feelings with others.

Having thus learned that his parsimony is a path to a cold, lonely death without rewards, Ebenezer Scrooge redeems his soul by becoming the antithesis of what he has been. He socializes, visiting with people on the street--Scrooge regarded everyone with a delightful smile"; moreover, he generously purchases a wonderful goose for the Crachits, and he decides to have diner after all with Fred and his wife and friends.  And, when Bob Crachit returns to work late the next day, instead of berating him, Scrooge gives Crachit a raise and promises to help his struggling family. "His own heart laughed:  and that was quite enough for him" as he becomes a second father to Tiny Tim. Truly, Scrooge has discovered the redemptive power of love.

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Discuss the theme of "redemption" in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Redemption can be defined as the action of saving or being saved from some kind of sin or evil. It is a frequently used term in the Christian faith because it refers to the work that Christ did and will do. As such it is usually a spiritual term; however, that still fits with this story because Scrooge is brought through a massive change due to the work of the spiritual realm. He is visited by a total of 4 ghosts that help him see how his life has become extremely unloving. They also show him the consequences of such a life, and Scrooge wakes up a transformed and redeemed character who uses his Earthly blessings to improve the lives of the people around him. Scrooge is no longer full of sinful selfishness. He also benefits by becoming a much more loved individual who also, once again, learns to love others.

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Discuss the theme of "redemption" in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

The theme of redemption is the whole point of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."  Ebenzer Scrooge -- a name that has become synonymous with an angry temperant and excessive thriftiness during the holiday season -- is man desperately indeed of redeeming qualities.  He is a aging businessman who has lost all sense of humanity with regard to his treatment of others, especially those less fortunate than himself.  Christmas, a time of spiritual redemption and festive atmosphere, is anathema to Scrooge.  The premature of death of his friend and business partner Jacob Marley has left him friendless and lacking in any kind of personal connection.

Scrooge appears beyond hope.  He treats his employee, Bob Cratchit, and Cratchit's family with contempt, making Bob work long hours without breaks and for minimal wages.  Scrooge's antipathy toward the Christmas season, when families assemble, exchange gifts, and enjoy each other's company, sets the stage for the life-altering experience that lies ahead.

When Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, he is shocked by the chains his deceased friends has been condemned to drag around interminably.  Those chains, "forged in life," represent the emotional burden that he is forced to wear in punishment for the way he conducted himself in life.  Marley warns Scrooge that such a fate awaits him unless he changes his ways.

During the night, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts, one who shows him his past, including the happy times when he was a young, up-and-coming businessman, but also the beginnings of the transition toward the man he would become.  The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the happiness he is missing out on by virtue of his anti-social behavior and hatred of the holiday spirit that brings out the best in others.  Most importantly, he is shown the Cratchit family, in all its poverty, with the youngest child, Tim, crippled by disease, basking in the warm glow of each other.  These people are happy despite their position in life.

The final apparation to visit Scrooge that night, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge what awaits him, and the Cratchit family, to which he is related, lest he change his ways.  Tiny Tim dies from the disease that has crippled him, followed by his own death and funeral, during which his old business associates demonstate a marked ambivalence about his passing.  Scrooge is then given the exceedingly rare opportunity to see his grave, untended and lonely in a dark cemetary. Scrooge, deeply affected by what he has witnessed, especially the death of Tim and of the isolation he faces in the afterlife.  The frightening apparition that is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come standing over him in the desolate graveyard convinces Scrooge to mend his ways.

Upon wakening from the night's restless slumber, the visions of what transpired still in his head, Scrooge is an entirely different man, no longer miserly and angry, no longer without regard for those less fortunate for himself, and with a new-found sense of family toward the Cratchits.  He redeems himself immediately with demonstrations of largess and a radically transformed demeanor.  He has found redemption.  The story ends with Ebenezer Scrooge redressing wrongs, the "shadows of what may be."

Scrooge finds personal redemption through a tortuous night of self-reflection.  

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What is the significance of the theme of "Redemption" in A Christmas Carol?

I think that the theme of redemption is essential to Dickens' work.  In the final analysis, it is redemption that becomes the lasting legacy of Scrooge and his transformation.  Through his redemption, his transgressions earlier in the narrative are forgotten.  Instead, the reader is moved by the evolution in character Scrooge has undergone.  This is only possible because of his redemption, the notion to redeem himself by making right that which he helped to make wrong.  

It is this example of redemption that makes the work everlasting.  The notion of "the Christmas Spirit" as well as the idea that the holidays can humanize anyone and everyone is where Scrooge's redemption is the most significant.  The work's success in seeking to illuminate its themes starts with Scrooge's redemption.  If he is not redeemed, the rest of the work falls apart.  In Scrooge's redemption, the power of the work is revealed.  When Belle tells Scrooge that he fears the world to an unhealthy degree, it is through Scrooge's redemption that he is able to overcome this.  It is for this reason that the theme of redemption is significant in Dickens' work and through Scrooge, as a character.

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