Ghost of Christmas Present
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|Ghost of Christmas Present|
The Ghost of Christmas Present with Ebenezer Scrooge
|First appearance||A Christmas Carol 1843|
|Created by||Charles Dickens|
The Ghost of Christmas Present is a character in one of the best-known works of the English novelist Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. The Spirit closely resembles Father Christmas from local folklore.
The Ghost of Christmas Present was the second of the three spirits (after the visitations by Jacob Marley and The Ghost of Christmas Past) that haunted the miser Ebenezer Scrooge, in order to prompt him to repent. When he first appears before Scrooge, he invites him to "come in and know me better, man." According to Dickens' novel, the Ghost of Christmas Present appears to Scrooge as "a jolly giant" with dark brown curls. He wears a fur-lined green robe and on his head a holly wreath set with shining icicles. He carries a large torch, made to resemble a cornucopia, and appears accompanied by a great feast. He states that he has had "more than eighteen hundred" brothers (1,842 to be exact, the story being set on Christmas Eve 1843, the year of its publication) and later reveals the ability to change his size to fit into any space. He also bears a scabbard with no sword in it, a representation of peace on Earth and good will toward men.
The spirit transports Scrooge around the city, showing him scenes of festivity and also deprivation that were happening as they watched, sprinkling a little warmth from his torch as he travels. Amongst the visits are Scrooge's nephew, and the family of his clerk, Bob Cratchit.
The spirit also shares a vision of Tiny Tim's crutch, carefully preserved by the fireplace. Scrooge asks if Tim will die. The Ghost first states that "If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die" (i.e., Tim's illness is curable, but the Cratchits lack the funds for Tim to receive proper treatment, courtesy of Scrooge's miserliness), then – quick to use Scrooge's past unkind comments toward two charitable solicitors against him – suggests he "had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." Scrooge is disgusted at his own words and is concerned for Tiny Tim and his family.
The spirit finally reveals to Scrooge two emaciated children, subhuman in appearance and loathsome to behold, clinging to his robes, and names the boy as Ignorance and the girl as Want. The spirit warns Scrooge, "Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.", underscoring the book's social message. The spirit once again quotes Scrooge, who asks if the grotesque children have "no refuge, no resource," and the spirit retorts with more of Scrooge's unkind words, "Are there no prisons, no workhouses?", filling Scrooge with self-loathing.
The Ghost of Christmas Present, having already aged, reveals that he will only exist on Earth for a single year's Christmas holiday. (As the nature of the present is to only exist in the now, this is why this ghost can only exist for one Christmas, and why he has 1842 brothers. Note the year that Charles Dickens' story was published. This would be the 1843rd Ghost of Christmas Present.) He finally disappears at the stroke of midnight on Twelfth Night, and leaves Scrooge to face the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, as it approaches "like a mist along the ground".
Appearance in various film adaptations
- In the 1962 TV special "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol", he erroneously appears before the Ghost of Christmas Past was meant to.
- In the 1970 musical adaptation "Scrooge", Kenneth More portrays the main character. After a song ("I Like Life"), the ghost takes Scrooge to Cratchit's house to see a brief argument after Bob claims that the dinner is courtesy of Scrooge instead of Bob's compensation, followed by a song by Tiny Tim ("The Beautiful Day"). After questioning the ghost about Tiny Tim, the ghost takes Scrooge to his nephew's house for a round of "The Minister's Cat" before the ghost leaves Scrooge back in his home to meet the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. "Ignorance" and "Want" do not appear in this adaptation.
- In the Academy Award-winning animated film A Christmas Carol (1971) he is played by Felix Felton.
- In the Disney 1983 animated adaptation titled "Mickey's Christmas Carol", Willie the Giant (Will Ryan) portrays the ghost.
- In the 1984 film starring George C. Scott, the ghost, portrayed by Edward Woodward, greatly resembles the illustrations in the Dickens' version.
- In "Blackadder's Christmas Carol" (1988) Ebenezer Blackadder is visited by "the Spirit of Christmas" (played by Robbie Coltrane) who bears a close resemblance to the Ghost of Christmas Present of Dickens' version.
- The 1988 comedy film Scrooged's incarnation of the ghost was a fairy played by Carol Kane.
- The Muppet portraying the ghost in the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol greatly resembles Dickens' version, however the vile forms of Ignorance and Want are absent, most likely to make the film more suitable for children. He is portrayed to have similarities to Santa Claus. He also warns Scrooge of the coming of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come before telling him (in a variation of the ghost's well-known quotation) to "go forth and know him better, man."
- In The Real Ghostbusters episode "X-mas Marks The Spot" the Ghostbusters are whisked into the past to relive Dickens classic as real events, where they meet characters including the Ghost of Christmas Present, all who greatly resemble Dickens characters as in his novel.
- In the 1998 animated made-for-television film An All Dogs Christmas Carol, Sasha La Fleur becomes the ghost appearing to Carface Carruthers.
- In the 1999 film starring Patrick Stewart, the ghost greatly resembles the illustrations in the Dickens version. He is portrayed by Desmond Barrit
- An unknown character of the Flintstones played the role of the ghost in A Flintstones Christmas Carol (he was previously portrayed as a bell ringing Santa).
- In Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas, Yosemite Sam (Maurice LaMarche) is portrayed as the Ghost of Christmas Present.
- Duran Duran's John Taylor portrayed the Ghost in A Diva's Christmas Carol. He appears to be based off a heavy metal rocker, in particular Ozzy Osbourne, and invites Ebony to join in on his festivities of liquor and groupies, suggesting a hard rock backstage party.
- William Shatner, who played a fictional TV host, Dr. Bob, in A Carol Christmas, also appears to Carol Cartman as the Ghost, who has an annoying habit of speaking in cliches.
- In the 2009 film Disney's A Christmas Carol, the ghost greatly resembles the version in the novel. (Jim Carrey voices all three ghosts, and Scrooge himself.) This version is depicted dying at length when midnight strikes (to the point of dissolving into a skeleton before the twelfth strike) and his warning about Ignorance and Want is also shortened, only saying "Beware them both" as the forms of Ignorance and Want repeat Scrooge's unkind comments he had said to the charitable gentlemen from earlier (Ignorance growing up and appearing in a prison cell, and Want growing up and put in a straitjacket to be taken to a workhouse).
- In the 2008 film Barbie in a Christmas Carol the ghost is revealed to be an obese red-haired woman in a green dress who shows Eden, the present in where her employees tease her at Eden's back, and shows her that Catherine is a generous person who gives clothes to the orphans, and that the orphanage have no funds to stay open and the children shall end up on the streets and she repeats Eden's cruel words.
- In the 2009 Christmas special of The Catherine Tate Show, the ghost is played by David Tennant.
- In a 2010 episode of The Young and the Restless, "Victor's Christmas Carol," the Ghost of Christmas Present is portrayed by Sabrina Costelana Newman (Raya Meddine), Victor Newman's wife who was killed in a car accident. In this form, she wears a dramatic hooded cloak.
- In The second part of The Angry Video Game Nerd Christmas Carol, He is portrayed by Handsome Tom of ScrewAttack. He shows the Angry Video Game Nerd his present self reviewing Shaq Fu.
Hearn, Michael P. (1989). The Annotated Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; illustrated by John Leach; with an introduction, notes and bibliography by Michael Patrick Hearn. New York: Avenel Books. ISBN 0-517-68780-1.