A Christmas Carol

The Ghost of Christmas Past Character Analysis

A strange combination of young and old, he has the innocence of an infant, but is seen as if through a veil of time, as if he is very elderly. He wears white robes and glows bright like a candle. At the end of his tour with Scrooge, this light is extinguished with a cap, making it clear that he is "reborn" and dies again every Christmas. He shows Scrooge the scenes of Christmas past.

The Ghost of Christmas Past Quotes in A Christmas Carol

The A Christmas Carol quotes below are all either spoken by The Ghost of Christmas Past or refer to The Ghost of Christmas Past. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A Christmas Carol published in 2003.
Stave 2 Quotes

It was a strange figure-like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child's proportions.

Related Characters: The Ghost of Christmas Past
Related Symbols: Images of Age and Youth
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

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'The school is not quite deserted,' said the Ghost. 'A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still.'
Scrooge said he knew it. And he sobbed.

Related Characters: The Ghost of Christmas Past (speaker), Ebenezer Scrooge
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Ghost of Christmas Past Character Timeline in A Christmas Carol

The timeline below shows where the character The Ghost of Christmas Past appears in A Christmas Carol. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Stave 2
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...soon – the curtains at his window are drawn by the hand of a strange new ghost . (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
This new ghost appears as if through “some supernatural medium”, giving his aged features child-like proportions. He has... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The ghost introduces itself, in a low, faraway voice, as the Ghost of Christmas Past . Scrooge’s past, in particular. Scrooge gets an urge to shy away from the ghost’s... (full context)
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The ghost of Christmas Past leads Scrooge to the window. Scrooge tries to resist, thinking he will fall out of... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
The ghost of Christmas Past brings forth other visions. Scrooge is now older, alone for another Christmas holiday, but this... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Christmas and Tradition Theme Icon
...go to their beds. Scrooge has been watching this display in a frenzy of excitement. The ghost of Christmas Past makes a comment that it is a small thing to be so grateful about, and... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The ghost of Christmas Past announces that he is running out of time and the vision changes again – now... (full context)
Past, Present and Future – The Threat of Time Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Greed, Generosity and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...At hearing this, Scrooge demands to be removed from the scene. He tries to seize the ghost of Christmas Past . The ghost puts up little resistance so he takes the extinguisher cap and tries... (full context)