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Luis Lorenzana


Period 5

The Very Descriptive Ghosts

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, portrays the protagonist of the story as Ebenezer

Scrooge, while the antagonist are Marley, and the three ghosts of Christmas. Each individual

character attempts to teach Scrooge the true meaning of Christmas by taking him on trips of his

memory. Every character has unique characteristics that conveys a deeper meaning than just a

materialistic object or a trait of some kind. The author Charles Dickens did a splendid job

demonstrating the imagery of each ghost. Imagery is the ability to imagine or visualize an object

or person with only descriptions in the story. The ghosts depicted in the story are Marley, The

Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

Marley made a living making money off of people, that decision caused Marley to

acquire heavy chains in the afterlife that held him down. When Marley's ghost appeared in front

of Scrooge, he was shocked; and Marley's appearance didn't help at all. “The chain he drew was

clasped about his middle. It was long and would about him like a tail; and it was made of cash

boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds,and heavy purses wrought in steel.” (Dickens, 17-18)

Marley worked as a bank loaner with Scrooge, all of the objects tied to him are from his job.

Marley's decisions he made while working have stayed with him throughout his whole life, his

actions he took now hold him down with the heavy chain he now carries around with him.

Scrooge entered his house and saw Marley's face “not a knocker, but Marley's face...with ghostly

spectacles turned up on its ghastly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot
air; and through the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and it's livid

color, made it horrible; but it's horror arresting be in spite of the face.” (Dickens, 14) Marley

appeared out of nowhere to warn Scrooge. Scrooge may think he's hallucinating because of the

fact that he saw his business partner/friend. Marley's greed damned him in the afterlife with the

heavy chains

The past isn't always clear, it can be both recent and distant. Once the clock struck four,

the clock rang four times, suddenly, BOOM lights flashed and the spirit appeared in front of

Scrooge. “It was a strange figure, like a child; yet not so like a child like an old man.” (Dickens,

29) The past is young because it happens recently but, it's old because the past can also be long

ago. The past can share wisdom with you like an old man, your actions both recent and ancient

can give you knowledge that you can use for the better. The spirits exquisite form appeared with

lots of characteristics. “It wore a tunic of the purist white” (Dickens, 30) “from the crown of its

head there sprung a bright, clear jet of light, by which all this was visible.” (Dickens, 30)

Memories are important they make you who you are. Memories are pure like the white tunic of

the ghost of Christmas past. Some memories are vivid like a clear jet of light, they can shed light

for experiences in the future. The experiences given can help you live a brighter future

In order to live you need freedom; freedom to live without worrying about the past. The

ghost of Christmas present commanded Scrooge to enter the room, and there stood the spirit.

“His garment hung so loosely” (Dickens, 54) ”it's feet observable beneath simple folds of the

garments also bare” “on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath” (Dickens, 54)

The loose garments is the freedom the present has, to live in the moment. The holly wreath is the

life of the present. Scrooge was examining the ghosts’ characteristics and noticed lots of things
“girded round it's middle was an antique scabbard, but no sword in it, and the ancient sheath was

eaten up with rust”. (Dickens, 54) In the present things have changed, they're us no worries for

war anymore or any fighting since the rust is eating up the sheath. The sword is gone cause

there's no use for it. The Ghost of Christmas Present is careless and lets loose.

The future can be scary so you should live life in the moment. When the spirit

approached Scrooge the whole tone changed. “It was shrouded in a deep black garment which

concealed its head, it's face, it's form, and left nothing of of it visible save one outstretched

hand.” (Dickens 83) The concealment of the ghost of Christmas yet to come represents the

uncertainty of the future. You can never see the future because you can die at any moment and

not see the next Christmas. Scrooge was used to the ghosts by now, but Scrooge feared this

ghost. He “could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black. ‘ghost of the

future, I fear you more than any other spectre I have ever seen.” (Dickens, 84) The ghost itself

represents death because like death spectres are greatly feared. You never know when deaths

gonna come towards you, it doesn't give you any hints or signs just how the spectre doesn't talk.

A Christmas Carol contains many descriptions of the spirits in the story to provide the

use of imagery throughout the book. Marley came to warn Scrooge about the heavy chain he too

would gain in life if he continued on his current path. The ghost of Christmas past’s exquisite

figure showed the importance of memories that you can be taught from. The Ghost of Christmas

Present freely expressed clothing shows you should have no worries and live in the present. The

Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is an unknown figure hidden in the darkness, it's presence was

feared because it very similarly reflects the presence of death itself. Imagery helps us better
understand the story on another level allowing us to visualize the characters and their features.

Overall the spirits and Marley tried to change Scrooge's ways for the better.