Never Late to Change – Tommy, Grade 8

Never Late to Change – Tommy, Grade 8

This literary essay is written by one of my grade 8 students. The essay focuses on Scrooge, the main character in Charles Dickens’s masterpiece, A Christmas Carol. In his essay, he discusses how Scrooge is able to make the change from a selfish, mean, and neglectful person to a regretful, caring, and generous character. He then goes on to comment on how such transformations could help humanity attain everlasting peace in the world.

Never Too Late to Change

Imagine being a selfish, mean, and neglectful person who has a heart colder than the ice of Antarctica. Would your heart be still able to warm up? In the story, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the main character, Scrooge, has a personality that undergoes a profound transformation after he receives visits from the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. They each show Scrooge scenes from the time period they represent, which makes him realize what he has done wrong, what he is missing out on during the Christmas time, and what will happen to him if he does not correct his behaviour. This causes him to change from a selfish, ungiving man to a man who cares about everyone and celebrates Christmas as the best day of his life. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future make Scrooge regret, care, and realize, and if other people were to follow in Scrooge’s footsteps, it could help attain peace in the world.

After the Ghost of Christmas Past shows him memorable scenes from his past, Scrooge begins to regret his recent actions. With the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge sees a rather reminiscent scene from his past, which causes him to begin to regret what he did the previous night. His regret becomes most evident, when he says, “I should have given him something,” upon remembering the boy singing a Christmas carol at his door the night before. Scrooge’s statement shows that he deeply regrets what he has done, indicating that he still has some good inside him. The scene, which is of Scrooge’s former self, makes him pity and remark “Poor boy!” upon seeing himself back then. As Scrooge starts to feel sorry for himself and sees how young he was at that age, he remembers the boy at his door and feels sorry for him, too. If people could remember their sad moments, they would be able to feel empathy for others, which would stop them from treating others the way they never wanted to be treated. Therefore, if people, just like Scrooge, could reflect and understand how much the ones who they hurt may suffer, they would be more willing to head in the right direction. Such a humane attitude will certainly make the world a better place as people who are able to feel empathy for others can greatly contribute to world peace.

After being shown people everywhere celebrating Christmas by the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge begins to care about others once more. The Ghost of Christmas Present is quite jolly and cheerful, as he makes a grand entrance by turning Scrooge’s room into a feast room. He is the one who shows Scrooge all the wonderful scenes of people happily enjoying Christmas. Scrooge soon begins to get into the Christmas spirit, which creates a desire in him for celebrating Christmas with others. This sense of shared happiness immediately makes him inquire about the ghost’s health around the end of the trip. When he notices the spirit’s hair is growing gray, he asks the ghost, “Are spirits’ lives so short?” This shows how after seeing so many people celebrate Christmas, Scrooge changes and begins to care for others, including the ghost. I can, therefore, infer that because Scrooge begins to care for others, he has changed his personality since he previously ignored everyone. The reason why Scrooge changes his personality is that he sees many scenes of people celebrating Christmas, and so he soon begins to want to celebrate it, too. After Scrooge watches his nephew’s party for a while, the spirit tells him they have to leave, but he begs the spirit to stay by saying “Here is a new game.” He begs for only “one half-hour” when the ghost insists on leaving. This quote shows that Scrooge wants to celebrate Christmas, as he wants to stay at the party, and it is the other people celebrating Christmas that inspire him to begin to change his personality and become a more caring person. Sharing the happy moments together will turn people kinder to others, as they will understand that happiness comes when everyone is happy. Sharing happiness may inspire them, as it inspires Scrooge, to be caring towards others, and if more people were inspired to care for others around them, peace would be more prevalent in the world.

The Ghost of Christmas future makes Scrooge realize what his destiny might be like. Scrooge is shown his grave by the Ghost of Christmas Future and is quite scared to see it: “Scrooge crept toward it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, EBENEZER SCROOGE.” In this quote, Scrooge is shown his future: death, making him realize the consequences of his actions. The fact that Scrooge is trembling means that he, in a way, knows that the grave is his. He knows his personality should change. It is because of this scene that Scrooge truly realizes that he needs to change, or he will become the body in the grave. Scrooge sees the grave, and immediately he knows why his name is inscribed on the tombstone. He knows that he is not caring, and he realizes that he needs to change. When people who have done many bad deeds in life reflect on their past, they are able to realize that if they do not change, their lives will go down the drain. Scrooge is shown his future and knows his actions are wrong. If other people can reflect on their actions and can see their destiny and how it is shaped by the consequences of their actions, they will come to the realization that they need to change. As a result of such realizations, peace will come, and the world will change for the better.

Scrooge’s personality changes through seeing different scenes, which help him to regret his actions, care for others, and realize his possible future. The many scenes shown by the spirits help Scrooge to experience these three emotions and inspire him to change. He regrets treating the boy badly because he remembers himself, he cares for others once more when he sees how people care for each other, and he realizes he has to change when he sees his true destiny. Scrooge was a terrible, selfish, mean, and neglectful man, with a heart as cold as the ice of Antarctica, but his heart is able to warm up. It is through such transformations that people can cast away their hatred and greed and start to care for others. And again it is through such transformations that people can create harmony and peace in the world.