The Dark Side
In Charles Dickens’ well-known novel A Christmas Carol, the second ghost that appears, the Ghost of the present, introduced two very significant characters. The boy, who represented ignorance, and the girl who represented want, were related to Scrooge as a person, to the novel as a whole, and to the real world.
” ‘Are there no prisons?” said the Spirit, turning in him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no workhouses?’ ” These were the final words which the Spirit said to Scrooge before the clock struck twelve and disappeared into thin air. He was solely repeating what Scrooge had once said when referring to the people in the lower class. The boy is related to Scrooge because Scrooge was very ignorant. He did not understand or try to understand the conditions of the lower classes. He treated everyone badly, and did not care about anyone or anything besides money; which leads to show how Scrooge relates to the girl, who represented want. Scrooge was a taker not a giver. He never offered charities, neither money nor service. He treated his employees unfairly and did not pay them descent wages. He wanted all the money for himself. Which was pointless anyway because he was so greedy that he did not even spend it. He did not live in a big fancy home with expensive furniture. Instead he lived in the same old house in which his business partner Marly had died in seven years before. Scrooge was a grouchy, ignorant, selfish old man who finally came to realization with the help of the visits from the Ghosts. If he did not change his ways, then he would end up being with the boy and girl. That was what he always dreaded, to be one of them, to be surrounded by darkness of the lower class.
Furthermore, the boy and girl play a significant role in the novel as a whole. The novel was written to teach a lesson, a moral. The boy represented ignorance which was exactly what the author Charles Dickens was explaining to be wrong. Throughout the novel, he demonstrated how ignorance ruined people’s lives. For instance, Scrooge was a mean old man who no one liked because of his ignorance about Christmas. Not until he was visited by the three spirits, did he realize that he was wrong and needed to change his ways. Charles Dickens also included the girl who represented want to prove his point even further. Once again, Scrooge is a perfect example because his whole life revolved around money. Scrooge always wanted more money and was unconsciencely ruining his life. What Dickens was trying to portray is that money is not everything. Being ignorant and materialistic is only temporary because if there really is an after-life, objects will do absolutely nothing to help us. It is how our actions towards each other on Earth that determine our destiny.
Although the boy and girl were in the novel, they still relate to the real world. Unfortunately, there will always be people in this world like Scrooge. They probably will not be visited by the three spirits, so they will have to learn the hard way. Ignorance and want are very closely related because they are both negative characteristics that the human race should try to avoid as much as possible. No one is perfect, but if everyone did their part in contributing positively, then the world would be a better place to live. Maybe there is no after-life, but is it not better to be safe then sorry?
In the novel A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens portrays a very important lesson in a clever way. By introducing the boy and girl, he allowed Scrooge to see the results of his actions. Also, the boy and girl were critical to the novel because ignorance and want were two of the most important aspects which Dickens was discussing. Finally, ignorance and want are problems that are faced still today. Although Charles Dickens wrote during the Victorian time period, his writing can be considered classic because it has withstood the test of time. His lessons are everlasting. The boy and girl were extremely important to the story, but they also sparked many thoughts. The real question to ask is…are we all a little bit like Scrooge?