Date of publication: 2017-07-08 16:27
Themes The most important themes of the story are stated more or less clearly by characters in it. The first of these might be Marley's saying, was my business . Where Scrooge sees business in the familiar sense of trade and finance, Marley now sees that one's business is what one should do in life, duty or obligation. Mankind is or was not just Marley's business of course, but Scrooge's business, your business and mine, in fact, everyone's.
Another technique is what we might term playing Devil's advocate: in many situations the spirits do not tell Scrooge why he is in the wrong, but let him see it for himself. The first two spirits especially do this. The Ghost of Christmas Past argues (ironically, no doubt) that Mr. Fezziwig has done nothing special, causing Scrooge to praise his generosity. And the Ghost of Christmas Present quotes Scrooge's own earlier words so that Scrooge can see why they are wrong. Elsewhere, of course, this ghost and Marley's, do tell Scrooge why he is wrong.
Stave 7: The First of the Three Spirits This is the Ghost of Christmas Past - Scrooge's own past. The ghost has a strange changing form and gives out brilliant light. With it Scrooge revisits the scenes of his earlier life.
An important symbol in A Christmas Carol appears in Stave 6, where Marley is weighed down by a massive chain, and tells Scrooge he has an even longer chain: it was as long as Marley's seven years ago, and he has laboured on it since This chain, made up of cash-boxes, padlocks , purses and business documents, represents Scrooge's achievement in life - earning money which weighs down his spirit.
Stave 8: The Second of the Three Spirits This spirit is the Ghost of Christmas Present. It is a great giant, dressed in a green robe (a little like a green version of our Father Christmas) and surrounded by piles of food.
Stave 9: The Last of the Spirits In this chapter Scrooge is again taken to places he does not know. The spirit is more like the kind of ghost we meet in conventional ghost stories. It is a hooded phantom, its face is unseen and it points at things but does not speak.
Stave 6: Marley's Ghost Here the reader meets Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable but wealthy old man. Scrooge works in his counting house with his clerk, Bob Cratchit.
A very obvious technique in this story is the extensive use of dialogue (speech) to show what people think or feel. Dickens writes speech like a dramatist: it is interesting that so many film and television dramatizations of A Christmas Carol have been made. It is a convenient length and has an almost ready-made screenplay in the passages of conversation.
At the end of Stave 8, Scrooge sees under the robe of the Ghost of Christmas Present, two children, whose names show that they are symbols: Ignorance and Want. Dickens sees that a lack of education and extreme poverty make it impossible for anyone to have a good life. Of the two, the Ghost tells Scrooge to beware the boy most of all because ignorance allows poverty to continue.
This chapter is very short. Scrooge wonders how much time has passed while he was with the spirits, and calls to a boy from his window, to ask what day it is. The boy is surprised by the questions as it is Christmas Day. Scrooge pays the boy to go to the poulterer (like a butcher but specializes in poultry) and order the prize turkey for Bob Cratchit. Out in the street he meets one of the gentlemen he earlier sent away. He whispers to him, but the reader guesses that he promises to give a lot of money to the charity, as the gentlemen doubts whether he is serious. Scrooge explains that his donation includes a great many back-payments.