Passing by the Past; A look at the importance of the Ghost of Christmas Past in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

Essay by pressuredteen14Junior High, 9th gradeA, April 2006

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Stargazers know when looking up at the sky, some of the brightest stars have been extinct for thousands of years, yet their light is just reaching us now. All around the world the past influences our choices, our ideas, and our lives. This is no different for A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is a timeless classic about how a coldhearted banker, Ebenezer Scrooge, is haunted by three spirits in order to make him change his ways. The three spirits are The Ghost of Christmas past, The Ghost of Christmas Future, and The Ghost of Christmas Present. The Ghost of Christmas Past lays the foundation for the other spirits, and changes Scrooge the most, not by pity or fear, but by remembering who he was, who he became, and who he really is.

It is easy to see how much Scrooge is affected by his past. We see this from the first memory the spirit shows us, with Scrooge at school.

"You recollect the way?" inquired the spirit.

"Remember it!" cried Scrooge with fervour- "I could walk it blindfold."(20)

Quickly, Scrooge remembers details about his past, and with it he will remember who he was. It astounds readers how quickly Scrooge remembers his past. Especially his childhood, when he has kept that part of him shut up deep inside him for so many years. This is important because it shows that Scrooge is not a lost cause because he is a participating in the spirit's plan, and the immediate progress he is making. That would be enough for one memory you would think, but this spirit has accomplished much more.

"What's the matter?" asked the Spirit.

"Nothing," said Scrooge, "Nothing. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol outside my window last night. I should of liked...