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More on A Christmas Carol

Introduction see all, summary see all, themes see all.

  • Compassion and Forgiveness
  • Transformation
  • Philosophical Viewpoints: Rationality
  • Memory and the Past
  • Guilt and Blame

Characters See All

  • Ebenezer Scrooge
  • Bob Cratchit
  • Tiny Tim Cratchit

Ghost of Christmas Past

  • Ghost of Christmas Present
  • Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
  • Jacob Marley

Analysis See All

  • What's Up With the Title?
  • What's Up With the Ending?
  • Tough-o-Meter
  • Writing Style
  • Marley's Chains
  • Scrooge's Gravestone
  • Scrooge's Bed
  • Narrator Point of View
  • Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
  • Plot Analysis
  • Three-Act Plot Analysis

Quotes See All

  • For Teachers

An unsettling combination of a small child and an old man, this Ghost takes Scrooge on a tour of his past Christmases in order to reconnect him to his feelings.

The Christmas ghosts have distinct personalities; they're not all just the same kind of phantom presence. This ghost is generally quiet, thoughtful, and surprisingly compassionate for the bits of Scrooge's miserable childhood that we get to see. It makes sense that because there was actually a time in the past when Scrooge wasn't the horrible monster that he is in real time, the memory ghost doesn't go full out with blame.

What really separates each ghost from the others, however, are the weirdly surreal supernatural bits that Dickens invents for how they eventually disappear. The Ghost of Christmas Past, for example, is a lot like an old-timey candle. It comes with a cap that Scrooge keeps wanting to put on its head. But the ghost protests that putting this cap on will "extinguish" it and that memories need to be looked at rather than snuffed out.

But eventually, that very thing is what happens:

[Scrooge] turned upon the Ghost, and […] wrestled with it.

"Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!"

In the struggle, if that can be called a struggle in which the Ghost with no visible resistance on its own part was undisturbed by any effort of its adversary, Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright; and dimly connecting that with its influence over him, he seized the extinguisher-cap, and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head.

The Spirit dropped beneath it, so that the extinguisher covered its whole form [...] (2.147-150)

It's actually pretty shocking that Scrooge suddenly wrestles with the ghost, isn't it? Why do you think Dickens decided to end the part of the haunting this way? Why doesn't the ghost just melt away on its own? Why doesn't it fight back against Scrooge? Does it make sense to make the ghost of memory function like an extinguishable candle?

Okay, okay, enough questions. We'll throw out one theory for you. Scrooge has lived a very long time repressing all of those horrible and painful memories to the point where it takes an outside supernatural force to make him relive them. It kind of feels like this extinguishing fight is a dramatic acting out of what Scrooge must have been doing all along in order to turn into the miserable monster that we find at the beginning of the story.

There is one literal ray of hope though—that even when the cap is all the way on the ghost, there is still some memory light shining out the bottom, meaning Scrooge will no longer be able to just forget everything about himself all over again.

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The front cover of a book with the title A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The image shows Scrooge wearing a black top hat and coat. He looks stern. Behind him is Marley's ghost, covered in chains.

On Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge and his clerk, Bob Cratchit , are at work. Scrooge refuses an invite from his nephew, Fred, to have Christmas dinner with him. He also refuses to donate to charity. Scrooge doesn’t even want to let Bob have Christmas Day off.

That night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley . Marley died seven years earlier and explains that he is being punished because of how he lived his life. He warns Scrooge to change his ways to avoid the same fate and says that Scrooge will be visited by three more ghosts that night.

The Ghost of Christmas Past appears and shows Scrooge events from past Christmas Eves. These include a happy memory of when his first boss, Fezziwig, threw a big party, and a sad memory of when his fiancée, Belle, broke up with him because he had become obsessed with money. The visions make Scrooge upset and angry.

The Ghost of Christmas Present arrives. It explains that Christmas makes everyone happier and kinder. The ghost shows Scrooge the Cratchit family’s Christmas. They only have a small Christmas dinner, but they are happy to be together.

The Ghost of Christmas Present also shows Scrooge two neglected children, hidden under his robes. They are called Ignorance and Want . The ghost explains that the children belong to mankind. Scrooge is shocked by their appearance.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come arrives and shows Scrooge visions of the future. He shows him that Bob Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim, will die. He also shows him a gravestone with Scrooge’s name on it.

Scrooge now understands that Christmas is about family and sharing. He promises that he will live differently to avoid the future that the ghost has shown him.

Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning and keeps his promise. He sends Christmas dinner to the Cratchits, donates a large amount of money to charity and spends the day with Fred and his family. The next day, he gives Bob Cratchit a raise in his salary and helps to look after his family, particularly Tiny Tim.

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A Christmas Carol

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Jacob Marley

Ghost of christmas past, ghost of christmas present, ghost of christmas yet to come, a description of the ghosts in "a christmas carol".

Charles Dickens wrote the classic "A Christmas Carol" in 1843. The central character is a greedy businessman, Ebenezer Scrooge, who hates Christmas. Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley, and three ghosts that represent different stages of Scrooge's life. All the apparitions warn Scrooge that he must change his greedy ways or suffer a horrible fate.

Here are the 4 ghosts that visit Scrooge:

Marley is the first ghost to confront Scrooge. He is transparent but has heavy, locked chains wrapped around his body. He informs Scrooge that ​ he cannot rest in peace. ​ He is cursed to roam the Earth in chains because he mistreated the poor and hoarded his money during his lifetime. Marley warns Scrooge that his fate could become like Marley's. He also notifies Scrooge that three more ghosts are scheduled to visit him.

Dickens does not use gender pronouns to describe the Ghost of Christmas Past. He refers to the ghost as “it.” Dickens describes the ghost as having long white hair and a face with no wrinkles. The ghost wears a white tunic and holds a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. On top of its head is a bright flame.

The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge on a journey to show him specific scenes from his past, including his lonely boarding school days during Christmas and the time when his fiance leaves him. The scenes show how Scrooge increasingly becomes obsessed with his fortunes and grows to despise Christmas.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is next. This ghost has long, dark brown curls and wears a green robe bordered with white fur. He is large in size and wears a wreath of holly with icicles.

The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge out on the city's streets to see the common people celebrating Christmas.

The ghost sees a vision of Tiny Tim's crutch in a fireplace corner. He tells Scrooge that if changes are not made in the present, the boy will die. ​ Tiny Tim is the son of Scrooge's employee, Bob Cratchit. ​ Since Scrooge does not pay Cratchit a sufficient income, Cratchit struggles to financially support his family and care for his ill child.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, or the Ghost of the Future, is the last ghost to visit Scrooge. Dickens describes this ghost as clad in a black garment that conceals its face and body. The only body part visible to Scrooge is an outstretched hand. Scrooge fears this ghost who does not talk.

The ghost points out different future scenes to Scrooge, including Bob Cratchit's family mourning the death of Tiny Tim.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come also ​ foreshadows Scrooge's death ​ by pointing out Scrooge's own grave.

  • A Christmas Carol; Charles Dickens; 1843

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What adjectives describe the ghost of Christmas past?

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The Ghost of Christmas Present was the second of the three spirits (after the visitation by Jacob Marley) that haunted the miser Ebenezer Scrooge, in order to prompt him to repent. According to Dickens' novel, the Ghost of Christmas Present appears to Scrooge as "a jolly giant" with dark brown curls. He wears a fur-lined green robe and on his head a holly wreath set with shining icicles. He carries a large torch, made to resemble a cornucopia, and appears accompanied by a great feast. He states that he has had "more than eighteen hundred" brothers (in fact eighteen hundred and forty two) and later reveals the ability to change his size to fit into any space. He also bares a scabbard with no sword in it, a representation of peace on Earth and good will toward men.

The spirit transports Scrooge around the city, showing him scenes of festivity and also deprivation that were happening as they watched, sprinkling a little warmth from his torch as he travels. Amongst the visits are Scrooge's nephew, and the family of his clerk, Bob Cratchit.

The spirit also shares a vision of Tiny Tim's crutch, carefully preserved by the fireplace. Scrooge asks if Tim will die. The Ghost first states that "If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die" (i.e., Tim's illness is not incurable, but the Cratchits lack the funds for Tim to receive proper treatment, courtesy of Scrooge's miserliness), then - quick to use Scrooge's past unkind comments toward two charitable solicitors against him - suggests he "had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." Scrooge is disgusted at his own words and is concerned for Tiny Tim and his family.

The spirit finally reveals to Scrooge two emaciated children, subhuman in appearance and loathsome to behold, clinging to his robes, and names the boy as Ignorance and the girl as Want . The spirit warns Scrooge, "Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.", underscoring the book's social message. The spirit once again quotes Scrooge, who asks if the grotesque children have "no refuge, no resource," and the spirit retorts with more of Scrooge's unkind words, "Are there no prisons, no workhouses?", filling Scrooge with self-loathing.

The Ghost of Christmas Present, having already aged, reveals that he will only exist on Earth for a single year's Christmas holiday. (As the nature of the present is to only exist in the now, this is why this ghost can only exist for one Christmas, and why he has 1842 brothers. Note the year that Charles Dickens ' story was published. This would be the 1843rd Ghost of Christmas Present.) He finally disappears at the stroke of midnight on Twelfth Night, and leaves Scrooge to face the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, as it approaches "like a mist along the ground".

Per Wikipeda.com

It has a childlike face, but an old persons long white hair. It has very muscular arms and hands, but very delicate pretty legs. In one hand it is holding a holly (a symbol of Christmas time) but its long white dress is trimmed with summer flowers. It is bare footed and has a bright beam of light coming out of its head and a hat under its arm so it can shut off the light when it wants to. It has flushed cheeks like a little child.

Yes. And so does the ghost of christmas present. The one which does not speak is the spirit of christmas yet to come. I find him the scariest ... ! :) Hope I helped. Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!

The children he hides beneath robes The boy is Ignorance and the girl is want

jolly, mocking, and sarcastic.

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What are the names of the three ghosts that visit Scrooge?

The Ghost of Christmas Past who brought him to the past of his life, the Ghost of Christmas Present who brought him to how will Christmas be like, the Ghost of Christmas Future who brought him to his future.

How tall was the ghost of Christmas past?

The Ghost of Christmas Past is very small.

When was Ghost of Christmas Past created?

Ghost of Christmas Past was created in 1843.

Who are the 4 ghosts in A Christmas Carol?

Ghost of Marley, ghost of Christmas past, ghost of Christmas present, ghost of Christmas future

What are the ghosts in A Christmas Carol called?

The three ghosts of the spirit of Christmas. 1.The ghost of the spirit of Christmas in the past. 2.The ghost of the spirit of Christmas in the Present 3.The ghost of the spirit of Christmas in the future. The fourth ghost was Jacob Marley who did not uphold the spirit of Christmas and was doomed forever bound in chains to warn others for not believing in the spirit of Christmas and uphold human values such as charity,mercy,benevolence ,forbearance ,loving & caring for others . canceled

What do the three ghosts symbolize in a Christmas carol?

Jacob Marley The Ghost of Christmas Past The Ghost of Christmas Present The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come

Who was the first ghost in Christmas carol?

The Ghost of Christmas Past.

What are the names of the three ghosts in A Christmas Carol?

The Three Ghosts did not have names per se, but Scrooge refers to them as the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.The first one that pops up is the ghost of Christmas past. The second one that pops up is the ghost of Christmas present which dies every year because it has to be the present not the past. He also has two dolls named (the girl) WANT, (the boy) IGNORANCE. Then the last one is the ghost of Christmas things to come, also known as the ghost of Christmas future.Marley , the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, the ghost of Christmas yet to come Jacob MArley, The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come

What Disney character of the ghost of cristmas past in mickey's?

The Ghost of Christmas Past is Jiminy Cricket. The Ghost of Christmas Present is Willie the Giant. The Ghost of Christmas Future is Pete.

Who were the three gosht of Scrooge?

The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come

The 3 sprites that visited Scrooge?

The Ghost of Christmas Present, the Ghost of Christmas Past, and the Ghost of Christmas Future.

What are the three ghosts in A Christmas Carol named?

The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come

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  6. The Ghost of Christmas Past: Key Quotations and Analysis

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  1. A Christmas Carol: The Ghost of Christmas Past Quotes

    Take heed!" Scrooge is not yet convinced of the value of being visited by Ghosts and asks for an explanation. In this conversation, the Ghost of Christmas Past asserts that he plays a vitally important role. He also shows that he can read Scrooge's mind—a fact revealed over and over during the course of their time together.

  2. Characters

    AQA Characters - AQA The Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol Three ghosts take Scrooge through Christmases past, present and future. Characters Bob Cratchit, his son Tiny Tim,...

  3. Ghost of Christmas Past

    [1] Significance to the story The Ghost of Christmas Past is a strange, otherworldly creature that shimmers and flickers like a candlelight, constantly changing in appearance as it reflects Scrooge's memories, old and new. As one memory comes sharply into focus, another fades.

  4. Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol

    Lesson Summary Frequently Asked Questions What does the Ghost of Christmas Past represent? As the ghost who takes Scrooge on a journey of his past, The Ghost of Christmas Past...

  5. A Christmas Carol Stave Two: The First of the Three ...

    Analysis In the allegory of A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Past represents memory. The aged appearance of the childlike figure touches on the role of memory as a force that connects the different stages of a person's life. His glowing head suggests the illuminating power of the mind.

  6. The Ghost of Christmas Past Character Analysis

    It was a strange figure-like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child's proportions. Related Characters: The Ghost of Christmas Past Related Symbols: Images of Age and Youth Related Themes:

  7. A Christmas Carol Stave 2 Summary & Analysis

    Get LitCharts A + Previous Stave 1 A Christmas Carol: Stave 2 Summary & Analysis Next Stave 3 Themes and Colors Key Summary Analysis Scrooge awakes and finds his room as dark as when he fell asleep at two o'clock. He listens for the church bell but when it comes, it strikes twelve. He must have slept through a whole day and half a night.

  8. Stave Two, pages 23-5: The Ghost of Christmas Past The Ghost of

    Stave Two, pages 23-5: The Ghost of Christmas Past Key character: The Ghost of Christmas Past Dennis W.Donohue/Shutterstock. The description of the Ghost is detailed and apparently contradictory; it is like a child and like an old man all at the same time. It has long white hair but its face is unwrinkled and its skin has a youthful glow to it.

  9. Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol

    Ghost of Christmas Past. An unsettling combination of a small child and an old man, this Ghost takes Scrooge on a tour of his past Christmases in order to reconnect him to his feelings. The Christmas ghosts have distinct personalities; they're not all just the same kind of phantom presence. This ghost is generally quiet, thoughtful, and ...

  10. PDF The Ghosts

    Character Summary The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first of the three Spirits which appear to Scrooge. The Ghost takes him to observe various scenes from his past, which allows the reader to empathise with Scrooge. This is because Dickens often adopts

  11. In Stave 2 of A Christmas Carol, how is the Ghost of Christmas Past

    Dickens describes the ghost as wearing " a tunic of the purest white and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt, the sheen of which was beautiful. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its...

  12. The Ghost of Christmas Past Character Analysis in A Christmas Carol

    A Christmas Carol is an allegory, and the compassionate, soft-spoken Ghost of Christmas Past represents memory. His appearance is strange, and most notably fluid, indicating the constantly shifting nature of remembering.

  13. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    Key points A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published in 1843. It is a novella and is split into five sections, called 'staves'. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol to raise awareness of...

  14. A Christmas Carol Stave 3 Summary & Analysis

    Stave 4 Themes and Colors Key Summary Analysis Scrooge wakes up the following night, ready to be greeted by the second spirit. He does not wish to be taken by surprise this time and opens the curtains. He is prepared for the ghost to take any shape. But when the clock strikes one and he is still alone, he becomes nervous.

  15. A Description of the Ghosts in "A Christmas Carol"

    Ghost of Christmas Past. Dickens does not use gender pronouns to describe the Ghost of Christmas Past. He refers to the ghost as "it." Dickens describes the ghost as having long white hair and a face with no wrinkles. The ghost wears a white tunic and holds a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. On top of its head is a bright flame.

  16. Ghost of Christmas Past quotes Flashcards

    A Christmas Carol Quotes - The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. 6 terms. Lilz8128. Preview. Ghost of Christmas Past Quotes. 7 terms. Lilz8128. Preview. Key quotes - Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. 11 terms. Keane_J1305. Preview. MARK 4210 Sales Call Wording. 14 terms. l_ggarrison. Preview. Fezziwig Quotes.

  17. A Christmas Carol Stave 1 & 2 Flashcards

    In your own words, describe the Ghost of Christmas Past. 1. White tunic. 2. long muscular arms. 3. no wrinkles on face. 4. clear jet of light. 5. green holly in hand. Strange figure - child like but also an old man. Hair hung about its neck and down its back and white.

  18. What adjectives describe the ghost of Christmas past?

    See answers (5) Best Answer. Copy. The Ghost of Christmas Present was the second of the three spirits (after the visitation by Jacob Marley) that haunted the miser Ebenezer Scrooge, in order to ...

  19. A Christmas Carol: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Quotes

    The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible, save one outstretched hand.

  20. A Christmas Carol Flashcards

    The Spirit of Christmas Present and Scrooge visit Bob Cratchit's home. Using complete sentences and specific details, describe the home, the children, and the dinner. The home was shabby, and so was the dinner. Instead of a turkey, the Cratchit's had goose meat. Although they didn't have much, the children were overjoyed.

  21. The Ghost of Christmas Present Character Analysis in A Christmas Carol

    Scrooge doesn't recognize him at first—the ghost says, "You have never seen the like of me before!"—because he scorns the holiday and is unfamiliar with the very concept. However, he does regard the spirit with reverence, suggesting his heart is changing. The spirit only lives as long as the Christmas season, and is reborn again each ...