How does Charles Dickens present the characters of the three ghosts in
A Christmas Carol.
In this essay, I will find out how Charles Dickens presents the
characters of the three ghosts in ‘A Christmas Carol’. This story is
about Scrooge. He was a selfish man who had a solely friend, called
Jacob Marley. After seven years of Marley’s death, on Christmas Eve,
Scrooge saw Marley’s ghost dragging chains of cashboxes that Marley
forged in life. Marley told Scrooge that three spirits would visit him
and change his fate. Dickens’ early life had influenced his view on
the importance of helping others. In Dickens’ early life, he worked in
a workhouse and his job is to paste labels on bottle which is a boring
and hellish job. He became a law clerk eventually but it was still
tough work. This can be a reason why he has strong sympathy towards
lower class people who work very hard and get little money. Hence, he
creates a character called Bob Cratchit and he is a clerk who works
for Scrooge. Cratchit has a big family with lots of children. He is
oppressed by Scrooge and he gets little salary. Clearly, Dickens is
trying to present Bob Cratchit as ordinary people at that time so that
he engages with them.
The three Ghosts of Christmas represent the past, present and future
of Scrooge’s life. The first ghost, Ghost of Christmas Past, Dickens
describes it as ‘like a child’ but it also describes it as ‘like an
old man’. It signifies the past when Scrooge was young but he is old
now. The ghost’s hair ‘was white as if with age’ reveals the gain of
life experience from the past and maturity. Dickens also pictures its
arms which ‘were very long and muscular’. The purpose of the ghost’s
strong arms is to hold plenty of memories together from young to old,
past to present. Moreover, the ghost’s crown has ‘a bright clear jet
of light’ and it can represent the strong memories of the past and
these memories can never fade away. Besides, the ghost is holding ‘a
branch of fresh holly’ but it also has its dress ‘trimmed with summer
flowers’. The combination of these contrasting season’s flowers, could
reveal time, year by year and memories of all the past. Apart from its
appearance, what it has done is remarkably successful. Scrooge is
softened and he regrets what he has done in the past. Scrooge realises
that he has to change as he sees his selfishness, cruelness and
coldness towards other people.
The second ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Present is a cheerful ghost.
Dickens presents it in...