A Christmas Carol Research Paper

Submitted By SamuelHernandez
Words: 1462
Pages: 6

Samuel Hernandez
Ms. Mangione
English Honors 7­3
January 13, 2015
As Martin Luther King jr. once said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but instead comes through continuous struggle.” In Charles Dickens’ classic,
A Christmas Carol
, a heartless old man undergoes a process of change. This tale, along with multiple articles written by journalists and psychologists alike, show that it’s possible for people to improve themselves. Change is possible if people learn from their past mistakes, realize change is not instantaneous, and have ways to achieve their goal. To alter themselves, someone must first learn from their past mistakes. For example, when the first spirit visits Scrooge it’s represented as candle with a flame that grows as Scrooge remembers his past and soon after he is told he begins to feel “a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered” ,(Dickens 31) the spirit then asks Scrooge if it is “not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow” (Dickens 31), showing Scrooge unwillingness to remember his past. However, when their time had come to an end, Scrooge, wound up after having to relive his past,
“seized the extinguisher­cap, and by a sudden action pressed it down upon” (Dickens

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49) the spirits head in an attempt to end his pain, however Instead of learning from his past and picking better role models Scrooge lives his life as a greedy heartless being with no one to guide him. Scrooge is able to eventually find kindness and the Christmas spirit in his heart after his journey with the spirits had come to an end because he had learned from his past mistakes. For example, after seeing his own grave Scrooge promises, “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach” (Dickens 102), this shows Scrooge has learned from his past mistakes and is ready to learn. For instance, after awakening on Christmas day Scrooge is willing to give his clerk a raise, when he had previously stated after his clerk had asked him for Christmas off, “A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty­fifth of December” (Dickens 12), showing that by learning from his past mistakes, Scrooge has successfully changed. Also in an article in
Psychology Today,
Dr. Michael Bader explains how New Year’s resolutions do not work however, there is evidence that if people learn from their past mistakes it is possible to improve their person. According to Bader “Bob was a procrastinator who couldn't seem to finish the final project necessary for him to graduate college” (Bader) ,had Bob just cleaned up his act and just stopped procrastinating by learning from his past he could have changed, allowing him to graduate from college. Another example Bader states is,
“Sheila was a binge eater who gained and lost hundreds upon hundreds of pounds, went on (and failed at) dozens of diets, made untold resolutions on New Year’s day that were abandoned a month later”, (Bader) if Sheila had learned from the mistakes she

Hernandez 3 had previously made she would have seen the pain binge eating had caused her opening her eyes to the possibility of leaving the gang life behind. Further, to change one must learn from their past mistakes.
Additionally, if people wants to remold themselves, they must first realize change is not instantaneous. For instance, According to Harvard University’s
Women’s Health
Watch change is a process and that “Each stage is a preparation for the following one, so hurrying through or skipping stages is likely to result in setbacks” (Harvard). Most commonly referred to as the TTM model, this quote can show us that change is indeed possible. This model describes the stages of change along with examples of how to move on to the next stage. However, during the final