By Cait Collins
I hate admitting I don’t remember much from all the Charles Dickens works I read in high school and college. But one novel stands out – A Christmas Carol. Who could forget Tiny Tim, Bob Crochet, Marley’s Ghost; and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future? And then there’s our hero, Ebenezer Scrooge.
When we first meet Scrooge, he’s a mean, nasty man. He’s devoid of love and human kindness. While life handed him some hard knocks, he has no excuse for his actions. Others have problems, Tim and his family for example, yet they remain positive and hopeful. Scrooge holds his hurts closely and lashes out at society. Yet he still has choices.
The ghostly visitors open doors for the miser, but Scrooge must choose to change his ways. And when he makes the 180 degree turn, he is truly a changed man. He reaches out to others and opens his heart to those around him. Talk about character growth. Scrooge went from zero to hero. Yet for many readers, the character they remember is the cold-hearted miser. His name is an adjective. We still refer to anti-Christmas folks as Scrooge. “Bah. Humbug.” is their catch-phrase of the season. But again, Scrooge changed for the better and that is hope for all mankind. If someone as mean and hateful as Scrooge could change his life, then those of us who are reasonable and kind can absolutely become more kind and helpful.
Tiny Tim, who greatly benefitted from Ebenezer’s transformation, said it best, “God bless us everyone.”
great example of a powerful character arc that’s been remembered by fans across many generations.