Essay 1: The idea that social reform begins with moral transformation in the individual is demonstrated through Scrooge by his miraculous change in personality and thought. In the beginning of the story, Scrooge is a cold and selfish individual that sees Christmas as a time of bills rather than celebration. He is a heartless man who thinks only of money and practically ignores humanity. For example, on page 10 of the book, two gentlemen visit Scrooge at his office and kindly ask him to donate money to the poor. They tell him that many people would rather die than go to establishments such as shelters. Scrooge shrewdly answered, " If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." This statement portrays his inhuman feelings towards those less fortunate than he.
The visits that Scrooge receives from the three ghosts make him change slowly but surely.
Scrooge begins to remember how people made him feel with their coldness when he was a boy. He then notices how others suffer when they are alone or in poor economical conditions. An example of Scrooge's emotional change is on page 66 when the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to Bob Cratchits home and Scrooge sees the sickly Tiny Tim. He says, "Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tim will live." This shows how Scrooge is now thinking of someone other than himself. He is sad for the child and wants to help him.
Scrooge's moral transformation, by the end of the story, urges him to help others. He donates money to the poor, buys a turkey for the Cratchits on Christmas, and becomes like second father to Tiny Tim. In other words, his change helped society as a whole. Scrooge and his change were used as tools to bring out Dickens' idea that social reform begins with moral transformation.