A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol Choices Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Stave.Paragraph)
"You are fettered," said Scrooge, trembling. "Tell me why?"
"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?" (1.131-132)
Notice how important it is that the chain isn't something that is imposed on bad people in the afterlife, but is instead created with "free will." In other words, be nice, dear Shmoopers, or you'll wear chains forever.
"But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
Again, Marley's poor choices in life are haunting him in death. Look at the sarcastic repetition of the word "business" in combination with all the unbusinesslike things that Marley should be been involved with. That kind of word repetition is a delicious Dickensian specialty.
"I wish," Scrooge muttered, putting his hand in his pocket, and looking about him, after drying his eyes with his cuff: "but it's too late now."
"What is the matter?" asked the Spirit.
"Nothing," said Scrooge. "Nothing. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something: that's all." (2.61-63)
Scrooge begins to rethink his past choices. Sure, this is a pretty small one, but hey, it's a start.