Redemption in A Christmas Carol

The theme of redemption from A Christmas Carol. Scrooge had reformed from a miser to happy man.

Redemption is the idea of being saved from sin or evil. In Scrooge we see a man who is transformed from a greedy, selfish miser into a generous and good-natured character by the end.

He is shown the error of his ways by the ghosts that visit him and is redeemed by his own willingness to change. The moral message of the novella is that all human beings have the opportunity to behave in kinder ways towards each other.

How is the theme of redemption shown in the novella?

In A Christmas Carol Dickens shows the theme of redemption through:

  • Scrooge beginning as miserable and miserly
  • Scrooge seeing the error of his ways
  • Scrooge transforming and redeeming himself
How does Dickens show this?EvidenceAnalysis
MiserableAt the start of the novella Scrooge rejects all offers of Christmas cheer from everyone he meets."Christmas a humbug, uncle!" said Scrooge's nephew. "You don't mean that, I am sure?"When Scrooge says Christmas is a 'humbug' we see him rejecting all the compassion and celebration that is linked with the festive season
Error of his waysDickens uses the Ghost of Christmas Present to show Scrooge how unpleasant his behaviour has been.Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.Scrooge feels ashamed when the Ghost uses his own words against him. We see him beginning to wish he could change.
RedeemedWhen the last of the ghosts has left and Scrooge finally awakes on Christmas day, we are shown a new man.His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.Scrooge becomes generous and full of life. We see him welcomed into the homes of his family and friends and readers are delighted by his transformation.

Analysing the evidence


Why does Scrooge change?

  • He is upset at the thought that Tiny Tim might die.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present uses his own cruel words against him.
  • He sees what he is missing in the family scenes of celebration.