A Christmas Carol

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A Christmas Carol Stave 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Scrooge wakes to find himself back in bed, in his rooms, his face wet with tears. He is so grateful to see everything, and to know that he has time ahead of him to make things right. He jumps out of bed and puts on his clothes and declares that he is “happy as an angel.” He laughs like he hasn’t laughed in years. He doesn’t even know how long he has been asleep or what has occurred here, but he feels like a baby.
Scrooge’s awakening from this deep, strange sleep is a moment of enlightenment, a complete transformation, a bit like a baptism or birth itself. Scrooge cries like a baby, and is purified like a newly baptized disciple.
Themes
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The church bells start chiming. Scrooge runs to the window and sees a beautifully clear, cold day. He shouts out to a young boy on the street what day it is. The boy replies that it is Christmas Day. Scrooge is ecstatic not to have missed it. He asks the boy to go to the nearby shop with the huge prize turkey in the window and to buy it, and offers him half a crown if he comes back quickly. The grateful boy dashes off. As he waits for the turkey, he sees his door knocker again, and exclaims how thankful he is to it for showing him Jacob Marley’s face.
The fog has lifted and the cacophonous sound of the bells at the arrival of Marley's ghost has turned into a beautiful chime. Though Scrooge spent three nights with the Ghosts he nonetheless wakes up on Christmas Day, and he is reminded of how wonderful waking up on Christmas Day was as a child. He turns this knowledge into action, and passes his joy on, to a poor boy, whose grateful face repays him immediately. Scrooge is so full of Christmas spirit that he even thanks his door knocker!
Themes
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
The turkey arrives and Scrooge delights in sending it to the Cratchit house, paying everyone handsomely for the job. He can’t stop chuckling, so much so that he has trouble shaving and dressing. He goes into the street and greets everybody warmly. Some even greet him back. He meets one of the gentlemen who had come to see him the day before and wishes him Merry Christmas. He tells the man that he knows that his name is not pleasant to him, but asks to be forgiven and gives him a large donation for the poor. He says he won't accept the man's surprised offer of thanks, but asks the gentleman to come and visit him.
In Stave One, Marley’s ghost described his awful fate to walk the earth, enchained, for eternity, and Scrooge’s fate loomed ahead of him. Now, Scrooge has the chance to make amends for all his bad deeds – one by one he apologizes to the virtuous characters he has met and scorned. This structure allows Dickens to show Scrooge’s complete transformation from evil to good
Themes
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon
All morning, Scrooge walks through the town, greeting and talking to people. Then he goes to his nephew’s house and summons up the courage to knock. He is met by the housekeeper and asks kindly to come upstairs. He stuns everyone when he arrives and announces he has come to dinner, but they rapidly make him feel at home, and he enjoys an evening that is just as wonderful as it was in the spirit’s vision.
Here is where the true lesson of the story lies. Not only is Scrooge using his new lease of life to make amends, he is also forgiven by those characters who had been most personally affected by his cruelty. The transformation of Scrooge’s life hinges on forgiveness, which is at the heart of Christian doctrine. Scrooge was so far down the path toward damnation, but all he needs to do is transform himself, to accept and internalize the spirit of Christmas, and forgiveness will be given.
Themes
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
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The next day, Scrooge goes to the office, in the hope of catching Bob Cratchit coming in late. Sure enough, Cratchit arrives late, and Scrooge pretends to be his old self and growls at him. He starts as if to punish Bob, but then shocks Cratchit by telling him that he is going to raise his salary. He laughs with joy and promises to help Cratchit and his family.
Scrooge now takes pleasure in being able to shed his old character in front of Bob. And, just as the other characters throughout the story have laughed and made jokes, so does Scrooge. Through the years, Bob has been loyal to him and is finally rewarded. This scene also shows how forgiving and good Bob is.
Themes
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The narrator ends by saying that Scrooge does all that he promises, and more. Tiny Tim survives and thrives. Scrooge is popular with many, and it doesn't bother him that some still remember and mistrust him because he was once such an old miser. He becomes known for his Christmas spirit, and the story ends with Tiny Tim’s words, “God bless us, every one!”
The story’s end reminds us of the forgiveness and tolerance shown by Tiny Tim and learned by Scrooge. And Scrooge's transformation actually saves Tiny Tim's life. This the lasting message of the story, that goodness and its attendant charity can overcome suffering and poverty and bad will, both spiritually and in life.
Themes
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
Social Dissatisfaction and the Poor Laws Theme Icon