Why does Scrooge dislike Christmas?

Scrooge exists in opposition to the very idea of Christmas. He values business, wealth, and solitude, while Christmas is about community, charity, and family. In his youth, Scrooge often spent Christmas alone, neglected and unloved, at his boarding school, while his classmates were spending time with their families. To avoid poverty and escape the workhouse, Scrooge became obsessed with becoming rich to the point where his love of money was greater than his love for his fiancée Belle, who ultimately left him. Having also lost his beloved sister Fan, who died in childbirth, Scrooge became isolated as he accumulated his wealth, and when we meet him at the beginning of the story, Scrooge has come to view Christmas as the height of folly and excess, and therefore wastefulness. Unable to find joy in the company of others, Scrooge finds Christmas a total impediment to the productivity of business. The year’s end provides a keen reflective period for many, and Scrooge has made it a priority to avoid looking inward.

What warning does Marley give Scrooge?

Jacob Marley appears before Scrooge, weighed down by a chain, claiming to have spent the seven years since his death bearing the weight of the sins he committed when he was alive. For a life of greed and carelessness, Marley must now suffer in purgatory for eternity. His visit is meant to save Scrooge from this fate—it may be too late for Marley, but Scrooge still has time to change his ways. Marley informs his former business partner he will soon meet three spirits, the first of which he can expect tonight.

Who is Belle?

Belle was Scrooge’s fiancée, and serves as one of his greatest regrets. When the Ghost of Christmas Past brings Scrooge to witness his time with her, Scrooge experiences one of his greatest epiphanies yet, crying out with tears of regret for having lost her. Belle ultimately left Scrooge because his focus on his career and wealth was so all-consuming, it eclipsed everything else—even his love for her.

What is the significance of the children known as Ignorance and Want?

Ignorance and Want are two small children introduced by the Ghost of Christmas Present, and they symbolize the very concepts for which they are named. Their appearance suggests that the ignorance and want inherent in society results in poverty, here exemplified by two poor, starving children. Where the Cratchits provide a personalized example of the poor to which Scrooge (and other upper-class citizens like him) are indifferent, the children of Ignorance and Want are representative of the wider population. The fact that it is the Ghost of Christmas Present who introduces them to Scrooge indicates poverty is an urgent and ongoing issue, not a problem of the past or future. Scrooge, who is moved by their plight, asks if anything can be done to help them, but the Ghost of Christmas Present mocks Scrooge with the very words he used previously in his dismissal of the poor: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” Dickens uses the children as a symbol meant to criticize people like Scrooge who support the Poor Law, look down on the working class, and feel no obligation to help those in need.

Does Tiny Tim die?

Two of the spirits allude to the sickly Tiny Tim’s impending death. When the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge life in the Cratchit home, he notes how much meaning they find from the limited supplies of their Christmas feast. Charmed by the precocious young boy, Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Present if Tiny Tim will survive, but the ghost warns Scrooge that, should the circumstances of the Cratchits remain grim, he will not make it to the next Christmas. Sure enough, when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appears, Scrooge witnesses the Cratchit family, lost in grief over the death of Tiny Tim. In the end, Scrooge changes his ways, and Tiny Tim survives as a direct result. Scrooge gives Bob a raise and proceeds to help the family, ultimately becoming a second father to Tiny Tim.