Jacob Marley's ghost and his fate

I am a big fan of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. I read it every year and watch every incarnation on film and television I can… aside from that horrible version on recently yeeech.

I was just thinking about the Ghost of Jacob Marley and how up to that point he had no power to help or interfere in the business of mankind, which caused him great suffering. He claimed to have sat near Scrooge at times during the seven years of his afterlife but until that moment could do nothing to interfere. Suddenly that Christmas he comes to tell Scrooge of his plight and the fate awaiting the old miser.

Was his appearance something of his own will allowing him to get some form of relief from his misery or was he a tool of some higher power out to save Scrooge? Did Marley bring about the three ghosts or was he merely a messenger?

Also would Marley get a lighter chain, or does he go on suffering despite this good deed to help a doomed friend?

Marley said, “I am here to-night to warn you, that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring, Ebenezer.”

And “Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more, is all permitted to me.”

Marley made the request. I’d say then whoever or whatever granted his request said “Okay, here’s how it’s gonna go down”. So the way everything happened was not under Marley’s control.

As to whether it affected Marley’s own fate, I’d say it was just a substitute for some other suffering Marley might have had to endure. Dickens says of Marley and the spirits, “The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.” It’s only by doing good while living that Scrooge can escape Marley’s fate. Marley’s dead and must pay, but at least he has the small satisfaction that that Scrooge has a chance. As to how much of a relief that would be to Marley, considering his situation, I have no idea.

(hit submit too soon.)

I think Marley’s intervention is like prisoners volunteering for medical research. It won’t reduce their legal sentence, but their good deed will lighten their own internal/moral guilt a bit.

Their final fate will be known on Judgement Day.

“Come with me if you want to live.”

Dang! I hit submit too soon!

[Marley’s Ghost]Ebenezer, come with me if you want to live![/Marley’s Ghost]
There, that’s better!

Thanks rowrrbazzle, the one part of the quote (in italics) I forgot answers much.

I hope old Marley has a little comfort as his act not only saved Scrooge but affected the Cratchits, and his newphew and all who would deal with teh reformed Scrooge.

By an odd coincidence, I am running lights on “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol”, which retells the familiar tale from Marley’s POV.

In the end, Marley achieves redemption through Scrooge’s reformation. Serious liberties are taken with the source material, but it is still a fun show.

(With 200+ light cues in a little under two hours, it’s a wonder that I’ve absorbed any of the plot.)

But in the non-corporeal afterlife, isn’t that just about all you have left?

May I present MARLEY’S GHOST by Mark Hazard Osmun, 2000, Twelfth Night Press.

I bought it last year after it had lingered on the bookstore shelf FOR A YEAR, figuring that if no one bought it after so long, God wanted me to have it.

It was pretty darn good.

Let’s just say that Marley gets some benefit.

I’ve been wanting to write a bit more around the same theme- that maybe the full procuring of assistance to Scrooge was not done by Marley, but by Francis (“Fan”) Scrooge, Eb’s departed sister & mother of Fred.
Now for a hijack, Dickens has Bob Cratchit telling eldest son Peter that Fred has offered P a job. Anyone have any theories what Fred does?