'A Christmas Carol' - Chapter Anaysis: Stave Two - The First Of The Three Spirits

Chapter Anaysis: Stave Two - The First Of The Three Spirits

The Ghost of Christmas Past appears to Scrooge:

1) The first spirit appears as the clock strikes one - even though Scrooge had fallen asleep after two.  The time is completely impossible, so the chapter feels magical.  

2) The spirit tells Scrooge that it's the spirit of his own past and it claims to be there to help him.  

3) Scrooge wants the spirit to put its cap on to hide the light that shines form its head.  This could suggest that Scrooge is reluctant to face up to the truth of his past actions.  The spirit also suggests that Scrooge's mean and miserly attitude helped create the cap that surpresses the light.  

Scrooge reacts emotionally to the visions:

1) When Scrooge sees his past, he acts completely different to how he behaves in stave one - when the people from his old village wish each other a merry Christmas, it fills him with "gladness".  

2) Seeing his school has a "softening influence" on Scrooge.  This contrasts with the earlier description of him as "hard and sharp".  

3) Scrooge sobs when he sees himself in a lonely school room.  The feeling makes him regret scaring away the carol singer in the previous stave - he's learning to empathise with other people.  

4) However, this is a happy memory for Scrooge as well as a sad one; the young Scrooge is kept company by the characters from the books he's reading, showing Scrooge has an imaginative side.  

Scrooge loved his sister:

1) In the next vision, Scrooge's sister

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