This story is about the Christmas-experience of Ebenezer Scrooge. A man who has a business of his own, and has a lot of money, but yet is very stingy. Jacob Marley was a business-partner of Scrooge, but Marley died exactly seven years ago.
The poor nephew of Scrooge, Fred, comes by every year to invite him to diner for Christmas, but every year Scrooge refuses to come, because he thinks Christmas is a waist of money. This year again, Scrooge thinks it’s humbug and he’s being very morose. Then a charity-character comes by to ask him for some money for the poor, but Scrooge refuses to give money. He asks if there aren’t any working-houses, but the character says that those people rather die than go to working-houses. And then Scrooge says: “So let it be, and let them lessen the population.”.
Then Bob Cratchit, his employee, asks him if he can get the day off. And that’s fine by Scrooge, but Bob has to come earlier in the morning then.
When Scrooge gets home, he sees the door-button turning into the face of Marley. He’s very surprised, but he says to himself that it’s all nonsense. And when he gets into the room he sees the ghost of Marley, and he keeps telling to himself that it’s all humbug, nonsense. But it isn’t humbug. Marley talks to him, and explains him something about the chains he is wearing; every wrong thing you do in your life will be turned into chains. Those chains you will have to wear when you’re dead. So that’s why he came to Scrooge; to warn him to live his life good, otherwise he will get chains too. To confirm that he will be sent three ghosts this night. Scrooge sees Marley flying away through the window, and he sees other ghosts, suffering with the chains. And some of them ghosts he knew, when they were people on earth.
After this weird happening he goes to bed and wakes up at midnight. The ghost of Christmas-Past is in his room and takes him to his past. There he sees his old house where he grew up and his old school, and he cries silently. And he sees himself with friends, all very happy. He thinks to himself, that you can’t buy happiness. After that the ghost takes him to a park, where he (older that before, but still young) and a girl are sitting on a bench. The girl is breaking up, because she doesn’t like the way he lives, with all his gain. After that he sees the same girl, but now she’s married, to another man and having kids. The man tells his wife that he saw Scrooge and he tells her about Scrooge’s partner Marley, who’s almost dead. Scrooge cries that the ghost shouldn’t haunt him so much and that he wants to go back to his own place.
Then he wakes up again, apparently he had fallen asleep again. The second spirit comes by, and the spirit looks like a giant, he’s very big, but he looks nice though. His room has changed into a perfect grove. Scrooge says: “Take me wherever you want,” and he says he’d learned a lesson the last time and wants one now too. They get in Bob Cratchit’s home, and the people there are all very happy, but something is wrong with Tiny Tim though. He is Bob’s son, and he can’t walk very well. Scrooge asks to the ghost if Tiny Tim will stay alive, and the ghost says he will, if he won’t get any help. And since Bob doesn’t get much money, they can’t afford an operation for Tiny Tim. Scrooge doesn’t want Tiny Tim to die and he feels sorry for him.
After that they are in Fred’s house, and the are all very happy. Fred drinks a toast to Scrooge, and Scrooge feels bad for he didn’t accept the invitation. Then it seems the ghost of Christmas Present is growing older, he has two children under his coat, who are very poor and thin. They are called Ignorance and Want. There is a message in those names. He feels very sorry for the children and he had no idea of all the sorrow in the world.
Then the third and last ghost comes by, the ghost of Christmas Future. This one is looking very scary and doesn’t say a word. The ghost takes him to a place where the see a couple of businessmen in a street and Scrooge can hear them talking. They’re talking about a dead man, and they joke about this dead man and his funeral, where there weren’t many people. One of those men says: “I thought he’d never die,” and all the men are laughing about it. Then the scene changes. He sees a person lying in his bed, under the sheets. After that they are in Bob Cratchit’s house and Tiny Tim died. Then he keeps asking the ghost who that dead man is, but of course the ghost doesn’t answer. Then they are at a graveyard; Scrooge finds it all very scary. They look at a grave, the grave is dirty. Scrooge makes it a bit cleaner to see what hidden under the dirt. And it’s his name that he sees. He grabs the ghost’s legs and cries, but the ghost turns into a bedpost.
Scrooge is in his own bed again, and he very, very happy. He says thanks to Jacob Marley, and has changed a lot. Now he can straight things up and do good things. He opens his window and asks a boy what day it is. “Uh, well it’s Christmas-day sir,” the boy says. The boy is very surprised. Scrooge says to himself, that the ghosts must have done their job in only one night, and he’s very relieved. He asks the boy if he want to earn some money. Then the boy has to buy the big, expensive turkey that hangs at the butcher’s. He sends it to Bob Cratchit’s house. Then he goes to church. And all the people look at him, all very surprised. He wishes everyone he sees a merry Christmas, and again everyone is surprised.
Then he goes to Fred’s house to celebrate Christmas as yet. They are all very happy with each other.
The next day he’s early at the office, and he’s still very happy. But Bob is 18 minutes late, and Scrooge pretence to be mad at Bob, and Bob is a bit scared. But then he says that it’s a joke and Bob gets a salary-raise. Bob is, just as all the others, very surprised. Scrooge becomes a good man, pays for Tiny Tim’s operation, and he
becomes like a second father for Tiny Tim.
Good always prevails! And everyone has something good inside. You can see that on Scrooge, because he turned out to be a good man after all. That was buried very deep inside of him. Another theme is love. Scrooge learned that loving is more important than money.
The story takes place in London, in winter, with Christmas.
· Ebenezer Scrooge: He's a rich businessman. But he's also a very miserly man. That changes in the story as we reach the end of it. He changes into a good man, who respects Christmas. In the beginning he's very bad.
· Jacob Marley: He was Scrooge's business-partner, but he's dead now. He warns Scrooge that he has to be good, or else he will be chained in hell.
· Bob Cratchit: He's Scrooge's clerk, and he's very poor. He's a good man and a hard worker.
· Mrs. Cratchit and the children: Martha, Belinda, Peter and Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim is a very good boy.
· Fred: He's Scrooge's nephew. He invites Scrooge every year with Christmas. He believes in Scrooge.
· Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future.
I find this book very amusing, especially around Christmas holidays, because it gives me a sort of 'tale-around-the-christmastree'-impression. I think Charles Dickens' made up a great story, because you can learn something out of this, if you like it or not. You can see how every person carries something good with him, even if he doesn't know it. Bad persons can turn out to be good persons after a while. It's a very useful, and amusing story.
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