Most simply, a symbol is anything that stands for or represents
something else beyond it, bringing to mind an image of a concrete object,
scene or action. In the enduring classic, A Christmas Carol, by Charles
Dickens, Scrooge interacts with four spirits, each of whom carries
symbolic objects and helps Scrooge to learn a moral lesson.
The first specter to visit Scrooge is the ghost of Jacob Marley, who
represents a warning of what will happen to Scrooge after he dies if he
doesn’t change his way of life. The ghost was carrying a chain that he
“forged in life.” The chain was made of safes, lock boxes, and other
money related items. Marley’s chain was to represent his sin of greed.
Marley tells Scrooge that he wears a similar chain around his heart except
Scrooge’s is much bigger. The lesson Scrooge learned from this first spirit
was that change is always possible if the desire to change is sincere. This
symbol makes the story better because it sets the plot for the rest of the
The second specter to visit Scrooge was the Ghost of Christmas
Past, who represents Scrooge’s past memories. This spirit has a light on its
head and a cap that extinguishes the light. The light is to remind Scrooge
of his feelings. The cap represents that memories can not be squelched.
The lesson that Scrooge learns from this spirit is that he needs to reconnect
with his feelings and to be reminded of who he has been. This symbol
makes the story better because it lets the reader know about Scrooge’s
troubled past. This lesson is worth while because it will be easier for
Scrooge to change if he reconnects his feelings.
The third specter to visit Scrooge was the Ghost of Christmas
Present, who represents good cheer and the joy of the season. This ghost
carries an empty rusted sheath and a torch. The empty rusted sheath
represents man’s intention to be kind at this time of year and the torch
spreads good cheer. Scrooge...