by Morgan McDowell
She appeared to be both a child, a man, and an old man at the same time. His was white, but his face didn't have a single wrinkle. His arms and hands were long and muscular. It's feet and legs appeared to be as delicate as a young child's. She wore a white tunic with a beautiful belt. Her dress was trimmed with summer flowers ad in her hand was a sprig of fresh holly. Under it's arm was a cap that must have been for the great jet of light that sprang from its head. She also had no solid outline. She had a low, soft and gentle voice.
She first took Scrooge to where he grew up. Scrooge recognized every thing the saw. They walked along a road until they came to a little market town with a bridge, a church, and a river. They were shaggy ponies with little boys riding them and carts and little carriages driven by farmers. There was a lot of joy among the children. As they approached each boy, Scrooge realized he could name everyone and that seeing them made him happy, though he didn't know why. They left the main road and traveled until they came to a big brick building. It was in much disrepair despite its grandness. It was a school, the school that Scrooge had attended as a child, Though it was Christmas, one boy remained at the school. He was Scrooge.As the ghost and Scrooge watched the boy, the character's the boy read about came alive in wonderful apparitions. Scrooge seemed to turn into his child self once again, reveling with the return of his old friends who comforted him during the cold Christmas holiday.
After this, the spirit showed him the same place, but years latter when Scrooge was older. As they watched, a little girl came running in and hugged and kissed him with great love and caring. It was Scrooge's little sister Fran coming to take him home for Christmas for the first time in years. We find out that Scrooge's father was not a very nice man, but he is better and kinder now. We also find out that Fran has passed away and her only child is Fred.
The second place Scrooge was taken was back to the place he was apprenticed. It was a warehouse in a plain city where carts and carriages fought for the right of passage on the street. When they enter the warehouse, they see a little old man, who appears to be Welsh, sitting behind a tall desk. The man's name is Fezziwig and he was Scrooge's master. Fezziwig orders the young Scrooge and the other apprentice Dick to close up the warehouse and clean and put everything away for it is Christmas Eve. The two men worked so fast they had it done in no time. After they have finished cleaning, people start arriving, First a fiddler, the Mrs. Fezziwig, then the Fezziwigs' daughters and their courters, then many more people. They have a Christmas party with food and lots of dancing. The best dancers were the old Fezzwigs. During this time Scrooge was transfixed and felt he was really there.
The second to last place the spirit took him to was a meeting between him and a woman. He is older, a man now and he is beginning to show signs of greed. The woman is his fiancee. The woman talks about their relationship. She says his love for her has been replaced by his love for money, He has become greedy. She says that this change may haunt and hinder them in their future together. She leaves him.
The last place he is taken is the home of his ex-fiancee and her husband. They are there for only a short time, for Scrooge cannot take the agony of seeing his former lover with another. So he takes the ghost's cap and slams it onto his head, extinguishing his light.
The significance of showing him these visions of the past is to help show Scrooge that he has had some good Christmas's and some bad ones. But those that were bad occurred because of choices he made. He lost his lover due to his greed. If he had been changed them, he would be a happily married man. He also wanted to show that Christmas should be a time of joy and happiness, like the Fezziwig's party. These places also helped Scrooge see moments that he wished he could go back and change.
The first place the ghost took Scrooge was the city streets. The house appeared black as pitch, except for the fine white blanket to covered their roofs. The snow that lined the streets was dirty, and joined the thick yellow mud and icy water. The sky was desolate and dreary, and the atmosphere was not a very pleasant one. However, the people out in the streets were quite the opposite; shoveling snow, throwing snowballs, laughing every single one of them. The shops were still opened and there wares seemed to posses a certain brilliance. Baskets of chestnuts that looked like jolly, pot-bellied men, Spanish onions that looked like Spanish Friars. Mistletoe hung all around. Pyramids of apples and pears, bunches of grapes hanging from hooks, filbert nuts whose sent bringing back walks through the woods and walking through the autumn leaves. Norfolk Biffins, oranges and lemons, created a display that one couldn't pass without stopping and admiring. Gold and silver fish, waiting to be chosen. From the grocers came the sounds of scales becoming even, twine being taken from the roll, and canisters rattling on their shelves. The mixed scents of tea and coffee, the sight of plump raisins, and white almonds, sticks of cinnamon, spices, candied fruits, plump figs, and tart French plums. People hurried to obtain these treats before they were gone, practically colliding with each other in their haste. Soon the bell tolled, and the happy people gathered in the church. And as people flocked to church, others flocked to the baker shops to cook their Christmas dinners. The Spirit was kind enough to sprinkle a little incense on every person's food with his torch. He would also use his torch to bring back peoples holiday spirits when harsh words were exchanged. Scrooge asks the ghost why he sprinkles incense on the meals. He says it is to keep their holiday spirit alive, especially the poor. Scrooge asks why this is and the ghost replies because they need it the most.
They then moved into the suburbs of the town. During this time Scrooge views that the ghost can fit into any given space comfortably,
The spirit then takes him to Bob Crachitt's house. The Ghost of Christmas Present stops to bless the Crachitt home. The Crachitt's have three daughters and three sons. When they arrive, Mrs. Crachitt and her daughter Belinda are laying down the tablecloth while, the eldest son, Peter, takes a bite of the potatoes. He is wearing his father's shirt collar for the special occasion, The youngest children come running in and screaming about the smell of goose. They are waiting for Mr, Crachitt and the eldest child, Martha. Martha arrives and hides to surprise her father. In comes Mr. Crachitt with Tiny Tim on his shoulder. Tiny Tim has a little crutch and has an iron frame supporting his body. Martha then surprises her father and Tiny Tim is ushered into another room so that he can wash up. Mr. Crachitt tells his wife about how at church Tiny Tim had hoped that when people saw him in the church to remember that on Christmas day the man who could heal the lame and blind was born. Tiny Tim then comes in and is helped to his stool by his older brother and sister. After Tiny Tim was seated, Bob made the drinks and Peter and the youngest ones fetched the goose. Then everyone seemed to spring to action. Mrs. Crachitt made the gravy, Peter mashed the potatoes, Belinda added sugar to the applesauce, brought out the plates, Bob took Tiny Tim and took him to the table, and the youngest set up the chairs for everyone. The food was dished out and grace was said and the goose was carved. The food was delightful and while Belinda replaced the dirty plates with clean ones, Mrs. Crachitt snuck away to get the Christmas pudding. Once dinner was done, the family sat by the fire and roasted chestnuts and drank the mixture of gin and lemons. Scrooge asks if Tiny Tim will live and the ghost responds that if nothing changes, Tiny Tim will join his father in heaven. The ghost uses Scrooges own words, and Scrooge feels ashamed. Bob Crachitt blesses Scrooge and Mrs. Crachitt speaks of how much she dislikes the greedy, heartless, cold man, But she drinks to his health only for the sake of the family not for Scrooge.
The ghost then took Scrooge to a miner's camp. It was on a moor that was not very appealing and very gloomy looking. There were great big boulders in this moor as well as moss, furze, and coarse rank grass. The sun was setting in the west. On this moor their was also a small hut made of mud and stone. A family consisting of four generations was gathered around a fire. They were singing a Christmas song.
Scrooge defiantly defiantly was not prepared for where the ghost took him next. For the ghost headed toward a lighthouse about 3 miles into the ocean. The lighthouse stood on a little rocky reef, and had seaweed covering the bottom of it from when the waves carried it as they crashed against the great beacon of hope. Seagulls and other ocean birds flew around its top, using its light to catch some late night fish. In the defiantly were two men who sat a table and were wishing each other a Merry Christmas. The older one even started singing.
To Scrooge's dread, they continued their flight across the ocean, to a party ship. Surprisingly, every member of the crew was humming a Christmas tune. Even those who didn't usually get along, gave each other a kind word and joined each other in the festivities aboard the ship. Total strangers made merry with one another and held the Christmas spirit in their hearts. As Scrooge was standing their, surprised and thinking how strange that they could this merry out a sea, on such a dark and gloomy night such as this, he suddenly found himself in his nephew house.
His nephew was laughing heartily and his wife had joined him in his happiness and amusement. The party has just begun. But what they were laughing at was what Scrooge had said about Christmas; that it was nothing but a humbug, Scrooge's nephew speaks of feeling sorry for his poor uncle. After this bit of merriment, they had tea. After tea Scrooge's nephew began to sing alone with the hosting couples friend Mr. Topper, while the niece played the harp. After they were done with the music, they started playing games. They first played blind man's bluff which the niece didn't participate in. During this game events happened that are really not fitting for a school project. The second game they played was called How, When and Where?. Scrooge joined in this game and was very good at it, but as his presence was unknown, his answers went unheard. The last game that Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present stayed for was a game called Yes or No, which is kind of like 20 questions. Fred went first. As the questions were answered this is what it came down too: It was an animal that was living, a rather disagreeable and savage animal, the animal growled, grunted, and talked sometimes, it lived in London and walked about the streets, it wasn't bragged about, no one lead it and it didn't live in a menagerie. It was never killed for market, it was not a horse, ass, cow, dog, bull, tiger, cat, pig or bear. Finally the niece said she knew what it was and guessed it was Scrooge. And she was right. The last he saw of the party, was his nephew drinking to his health and wishing him a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
They went many more places after that including: the beds of the sick, foreign lands, an almshouse, hospital, and a jail. In every place they went, no matter what, the people were happy and merry.
The entire time they traveled, the ghost slowly aged. At the end of the night the ghost showed Scrooge something very special.
The reason the Ghost of Christmas Present took Scrooge all the places he did was for two reasons. First he wanted to give Scrooge a glimpse of what people thought of him. I think secretly the kind ghost was also trying to prepare him for what the next ghost would show him. The second reason was to show Scrooge that matter what circumstances people are in; poor, hungry, homeless, alone, sick, in prison, rich, all of them were happy and merry on Christmas. The ghost of Christmas Present is the Spirit of Christmas made into a some what physical being.
The Ghost of Christmas Present's surprise
"Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shriveled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread."
The spirit tells Scrooge that they are man's children and their names are Ignorance and Want.
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Ignorance and Want
The first place they went was into the city where merchants roamed the streets. The phantom lead Scrooge over to a group of three men that Scrooge was familiar with. They are talking about the death of a rich man. One talks of going to the funeral only for the free food. Another says he will only go because the other two are going. It is obvious they don't really feel sorry for the man's death.
The ghost then took him over to a short meeting between two men. They speak of the man having died and then move right into other things. Scrooge finds both of these conversations to be sad and cruel.
They then went to the more poor side of town, to place where Scrooge had heard of but had never dared venture. The streets were narrow, and the houses and shops foul. The people that roamed about were half-naked, ugly and dirty; some were even drunk. You could almost smell the scents of crime, filth, and misery. They went to a small shop, a black market shop. On the floor of the shop were piles of rusty keys, nails, chains, hinges, files, scales, weights and other scrap pieces of iron and metal that only the needy would desire. By a charcoal stove sat a seventy year old gray haired man smoking a pipe. He was the owner of the shop. Suddenly a woman, followed by a man and another woman entered the shop, each with a bundle of sorts. All three of them were familiar with one another and laughed that each of them had arrived at the same hour. The first women ordered for the charwomen to go first, the laundress second and the undertaker's man to be last. Joe, the owner of the shop, invites them all into the parlor. When the first women enters, she sets down her bundle, sits down and looks at the other two with defiance. She tells the other woman, Mrs. Dilber not to be afraid to show her swag. The first woman went on about how bad the dead man had been in life and how he should have treated others better if he expected them to show him courtesy and respect. The man then steps forward to reveal his wares. He didn't have very much, a seal or two, a pencil case, a pair of sleeve buttons and a not very valuable brooch. Joe examined the items very carefully and then chalked up the sums on the wall. The man then took his money and left quickly without a word. Next was Mrs. Dilber who produced sheets, towels, a few clothes, two antique silver teaspoons, a pair of sugar tongs, and a few boots. Joe express that he soft on women and gives them a little extra. The last women's bundle was opened. Inside were bed curtains still with the rings one them, blankets, and a nice shirt she took right of the corpse. Scrooge is horrified by what the phantom has just show him.
The next scene they visited was the room of the dead man. Scrooge and the ghost stood right in front of the un-curtained bed. The body and face of the man was covered only by a single sheet. The ghost pointed at the sheet and it was clear that he wanted Scrooge to look at the face of the man. Scrooge refused and they moved on.
Scrooge found himself in a house. In the house was a woman with her children. The woman seemed anxious about something and appeared to waiting for something. Then came a knock at the door and the woman opened it to let her husband in. He was young, but his face still bore signs of depression and fatigue. He sat down to dinner without saying a word. The wife and husband speak of owing money to the dead man. They thankful he is gone and that there debt will be transfered to someone else.
The next place they went was to the Crachitt home. Mrs. Crachitt and the children were gathered around the fire. All of them were quiet, the little ones sitting as still as statues Peter was reading a book and Mrs. Crachitt and the older daughters were sewing. They are waiting for Bob to get home. When he arrives the whole family tries to comfort him in his grief, for Tiny Tim is dying. The whole family is sad and mourning.
The ghost pushes on. Scrooge wants to stop and look into his office. The ghost wants them to push on but Scrooge goes to his office anyway. But the office is no longer his. The furniture is all different. This confuses Scrooge. He then follows the ghost to the last place they are to visit.
The phantom took him to a churchyard. The ghost wishes for Scrooge to finally know who the dead man is. He points to a grave and Scrooge approaches timidly. The name upon the grave is his own. Scrooge begs the ghost to tell him if he can still change but the ghost says nothing. Scrooge then wakes up in his own bed.
The reason the ghost takes him to these places is to show him how people really think about him. That his coldness and cruelty will amount to nothing. He has to change if he doesn't want to die alone.