The Ghost of Christmas Past is an important character in one of the most famous Christmas novels, "A Christmas Carol", written by the brilliant English novelist, Charles Dickens. The story depicts the Ghost of Christmas Past as the first of the three spirits who, following the visit by Jacob Marley, haunt the miser Ebenezer Scrooge so as to tempt him to mend his ways. Mr. Scrooge has a particular dislike for Christmas and scolds those who celebrate it. This spirit takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes belonging to the days of his boyhood and youth, which successfully stirs the old miser's noble and tender feelings by reminding him of the time, when he was a happy believer of Christmas spirit. The novel was an instant success and since then, the Ghost of Christmas Past has made several appearances in both films and TV serials. However, the way it is portrayed seems to vary in almost each of the appearances. Know the Ghost of Christmas Past better through this article.
Ghosts Of Christmas
Dickens's novella describes the Ghost of Christmas Past when he visits Scrooge as a white-robed, androgynous figure of middle age. It is shown with a blazing light on his head, reminiscent of a candle flame, and carries a metal cap, made in the shape of a candle extinguisher. However, in the dramatic versions of the story, the ghost is often depicted as a woman. Dickens used only "it" to describe the Ghost of Christmas Past throughout his novella. At one point, he even offers a curious description of it "being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away".
Role In 'A Christmas Carol'
The Ghost of Christmas Past takes scrooge on a journey of his past and shows him his old boarding school where he stayed alone, with only his books, whereas his friends used to visit their homes to celebrate their Christmas holidays. The spirit then takes the miser to the day, on which his beloved younger sister Fan picked him up from the school, after repeatedly asking for his return. He is also taken back to the time when he worked as an apprentice to Mr. Fezziwig. The Ghost of Christmas Past also takes Scrooge to the day in his youth when, frustrated by his growing obsession with money, his fiancee Belle opted to end their relationship. In the end, the Ghost then shows him how his ex-fiancee got married and is spending her days in happiness with her husband. After this vision, Scrooge, enraged, makes the Ghost of Christmas Past disappear with his cap and finds himself lying in his bed.
Portrayal In Films
Since the publication of "A Christmas Carol", the Ghost of Christmas Past has made several appearances in films and TV serials. However, the depiction of the ghost differs vastly and it has been shown both as male and female. For instance, in the 1938 Alan Hart version of A Christmas Carol, the Ghost is showed as a charming young woman who resembles an angel. Whereas in the 1951 film A Christmas Carol, the Ghost is portrayed as an elderly man. In the 1962 animated TV special, Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol, the Ghost is depicted as a young, slight, androgynous figure.
Go through the above mentioned lines and learn how the Ghost of Christmas Past helped melt the heart of the miser Scrooge and how it has become famous since.