Scrooge: A Christmas Carol Plot Synopsis
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol is the latest adaptation of the classic tale written by Charles Dickens. As you will likely know already, it tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old moneylender who hates Christmas. He has no time for his nephew Harry, is mean-spirited towards his employee Bob, and has no compassion for the debtors in his town who owe him money.
Scrooge really is a miserable fellow but when he is visited by the spirit of his dead business partner Jacob Marley, and three other ghosts that represent his past, present and future, he is taught some valuable life lessons that cause him to change his ways and become a better person.
So, what are the lessons that he learns? And what can we learn from Scrooge’s example? Keep reading to understand more about the latest retelling of Dickens’ famous story.
Why is Scrooge visited by the ghosts?
The first ghost Scrooge meets is that of Jacob Marley, his old business partner, who has been literally chained by his regrets in the afterlife. He warns Scrooge that he will suffer the same fate unless he changes his greedy and unkind ways. To teach him some valuable lessons, he tells Scrooge that he has arranged for 3 visitors to meet with him at the sound of each clock chime at 1, 2, and 3 o’clock respectively.
Scrooge is disbelieving of what Marley is telling him and assumes he must be dreaming. But during this cold Christmas Eve, Marley’s words come true and Scrooge is visited by the three ghosts who try to turn his life around.
What does the Ghost of Christmas Past show Scrooge?
The next spirit to arrive is the Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes Scrooge back in time to when he was just a young lad. He is taken back to the factory where he worked as a child trying to raise enough money to provide for his family, which included Jen, his beloved sister who was gravely ill.
Thankfully, Jen survived childhood, despite her illness, but she later died at childbirth when giving birth to Harry. As she died at Christmastime, we can understand why the festive season is hard for Scrooge.
We fast forward a few years into Scrooge’s past at a time when he was engaged to be married to a girl named Isabel. This is a happy period in his life but when he goes to work for Jacob Marley, he begins to devote more of his time to his job than he does to his fiancee. Tired of being told “later” by Scrooge whenever she tried to spend time with him, Isabel decided to leave her neglectful boyfriend behind and went on to have a happily married life with somebody else.
These reminders of the past are painful to Scrooge but he is reminded by the ghost that, while the past can hurt, it can also heal if you let it.
What does the Ghost of Christmas Present show Scrooge?
The Ghost of Christmas Present turns up to give Scrooge a glimpse into the lives of two of the people who know him.
To begin with, he is taken into the home of Harry, who is proposing a toast to Scrooge at a dinner party. His kind words don’t go down well with the guests who have nothing good to say about the grumpy old moneylender.
Scrooge is then taken to the Cratchit house, where Bob and his family are preparing for Christmas dinner. Thanks to Scrooge’s miserly ways, they can’t afford to eat very much, but Bob still raises a glass to his boss regardless of the pitiful earnings that he has made. From the corner of the room, Bob’s son Tim coughs and wheezes, and his sick condition is a reminder to Scrooge of his late sister who suffered in similar ways when she was ill as a child.
Scrooge is worried about Tim and asks what will become of him to the ghost. The Ghost of Christmas Present tells him he can’t answer that as he can only tell Scrooge “what is.” But he reminds him of the importance of doing the best you can with the time you have and to do so soon before time runs out.
What does the Ghost of Christmas Future show Scrooge?
The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge what life will be like if he does not change. When he is taken into the future, he witnesses a grave: his own! There are only a small number of people at his funeral, one of whom, Tom Jenkins, is glad that he is dead. In another scene, we also see the other debtors celebrating the death of the man who made their lives a misery.
Scrooge then sees another grave. This one belongs to Tim. He realises that his actions have contributed to the boy’s death and this causes him a great amount of sorrow.
Does Scrooge become a changed man?
Scrooge wakes up on Christmas Day and immediately decides to change his ways. He clears the townsfolk’s debts, makes charitable donations, and invites everyone to his home for Christmas dinner. It’s here where he promises to make amends to everyone, including Bob, who he makes his business partner.
By changing his attitude toward others, Scrooge has become a changed man. He becomes happier, kinder, and more optimistic about life and living, which are qualities he saw in the various people in his life during his travels through time.
What can we learn from Scrooge: a Christmas Story?
Despite his painful past, Scrooge learned that he could still find happiness in life. This is something we can all try to do, as our present and future lives don’t have to be shaped by the events that previously defined us.
Scrooge also discovered he had the power to change not just his own life but that of others too. We can do the same. A kind word, a charitable act, and a hand of friendship are just some of the things we can offer to the people around us. By doing so, we could do much to make their lives better, as Scrooge did when he altered the course of young Tim Cratchit’s life as well as the lives of his family and the people in the town. By taking such positive steps, we can also learn that the happiness we cause in others can lead to the happiness we experience in our own lives.
The movie (and the original story) also teaches us that the pursuit of money can’t make us happy. Scrooge lost the love of his life as a consequence of his money-loving ways and he lost time with Harry too, but by the end of the story, he learned that other things, such as the joys of family and friendship, were much more important than wealth. This is something else we might want to consider if we spend too much time working at the expense of our families.
These are just some of the lessons we can learn from Scrooge’s story. Can you think of any more? If so, please leave us a comment below with your thoughts.
Read More: Scrooge Movie Review