Scrooge's Transformation

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Scrooge's transformation from wicked misanthropy to generous cheerfulness.

In A Christmas Carol, the protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a radical change of character and attitude towards social interactions, material possessions, and Christmas. Too radical to be credible, as people don't change that extremely and easily. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that, if Scrooge was a real person, these changes would be permanent.

Wilson, Edmund. “Dickens: The Two Scrooges.” The New Republic (1942): n. pag. Web. 26 November 2012.

Wilson's essay is widely regarded as the most influential study of Dickens of the 20th century. He points out that Scrooge's transformation from the “melancholy misanthrope to the joyful embodiment of Christmas cheer” is too big of a change to happen in such a limited amount of time as it does in A Christmas Carol. According to Wilson, the protagonist would unquestionably go back to his old “wicked and paranoid self” after the end of the story. Scrooge would end up as a “victim of a manic-depressive cycle, and a very unhappy and unpleasant person”. Dickens, like Scrooge, was capable of the extremes of both evil and good, and was a rather unstable character, which leads him to the assumption that the protagonist's bipolar nature is representative of Dickens' own deep personal, psychological and social problems, resulting from a childhood trauma. He supports his argument by quoting Dickens' daughters' and wife's contradictory statements describing the author's personality. (158)

Gilbert, Elliot. “The Ceremony of Innocence: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.” PMLA 90.1 (January 1975): 22-31. JSTOR. Web. 17 November 2012.

Gilbert argues that Scrooge's spiritual and “moral growth” in A Christmas Carol is happening too quickly to be psychologically valid. This, however, doesn't mean the story is flawed, but is what makes it effective. The article focuses on Scrooge's moral and spiritual recovery....
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