A Christmas Carol

How did Scrooge go from being naughty to nice so quickly, and why? (Hint: contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with the ghost of Santa Claus...thank goodness.) Just one question to think about in Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol.

AuthorDickens - Charles Dickens
British Literature19th-Century British Literature
LanguageEnglish Language
Literature19th-Century Literature
British Literature
ThemesChoices
Compassion and Forgiveness
Family
Guilt and Blame
Isolation
Memory and the Past
Philosophical Viewpoints
The Home
Time
Transformation

Transcript

00:29

beings to change.

00:32

So what makes Ebenezer Scrooge, the hero—of sorts—of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol…

00:37

…suddenly go from awful, curmudgeonly grump…

00:40

…to upbeat, generous, heck-of-a-great-guy? The short answer, of course, is that he is

00:49

visited by three spirits who don’t feel he has enough…spirit.

00:54

But what changes inside Ebenezer to… turn his frown upside-down?

00:59

Does his transformation take place because of fear?

01:02

After all, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows him his own grave…

01:07

…you’d think that would be enough to scare the crankiness out of Oscar the Grouch.

01:09

Scrooge isn’t ready to join Marley and company in the hereafter…

01:11

…and he seems pretty upset about his corpse being robbed.

01:15

So…does he just turn things around because he feels that’s the way to change history’s

01:22

course…

01:23

…and avoid an untimely—and horribly depressing—demise? Or… maybe he genuinely regrets hurting the

01:30

people he once cared about.

01:34

When visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present...Scrooge witnesses firsthand the plight of the Cratchits.

01:41

And how his penny pinching habits affected the life of Tiny Tim.

01:45

It could be that it just took this drastic measure to wake Scrooge up…

01:48

…to shake him by the shoulders and make him turn an eye to the people he was injuring

01:52

with his actions. Or maybe it isn’t about fear or regret at

01:59

all…but love.

02:00

Yeah, yeah, we know… bah humbug.

02:03

But maybe we have a Grinch situation going on here. Maybe Scrooge’s heart grew three

02:08

sizes.

02:09

He used to be that kind, loving lad back in the day… perhaps he simply…got back in

02:14

touch with his old, happy self?

02:16

Since this is a Christmas story, it sure would be nice if love had a little something to

02:20

do with it. So, what drove Scrooge to…be less Scrooge-like?

02:25

Fear?

02:26

Regret?

02:28

Or love? Shmoop amongst yourselves.