Numerological Insights in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

Updated: Dec 23, 2018

by Maria Beale Fletcher:

The genius that was Charles Dickens shines brightly in “A Christmas Carol,” written in six weeks and published on December 19, 1843, when he was 31. Easily, my favorite Christmas story when I saw it portrayed on our first TV when I was 12 years old in Asheville, NC. I've also come to appreciate it for the numerical insights within the names of the author and protagonists of his tragic, comical, and beautiful tale while re-reading the agonized tortures of Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim.


It is obvious that Charles Dickens, influenced greatly by his turbulent childhood—combined with his artistic outlook and observations of the complex intricacies of human behavior from all layers of London's society (from the wretched hovels of the poor, to debtor prisons, to his success as an entrepreneurial traveling author)—contributed to his activities as a social activist and critic of his time. At one time or another, he lived in each of those levels!

What may be surprising to some is that he always carried with him the characters from his books and stories. They were forever in his head; at least, that was the complaint he often made to his friend and partner, John Forster. He loved collecting names! Wherever he and John went for a drink or meal, he would ask the server his or her name and then jot it down in the notebook he carried. From that list, he named his characters that came to life with their own opinions of his stories and the course they should take in their own development. It is no wonder, for the name "Charles," adding to the master builder number "22," is insistent in its drive to organize all things and all people! That may work for an author, but not always for everyone else! (It is one succinct way to build resentment in all those who believe it is their right to organize their own lives!) Also, his name, "Charles," plus his day of birth, "7," equals 29, reducing to the number 11, contributing to his visionary way of thinking!


As the two characters—Ebenezer Scrooge and his deceased partner of seven years, Jacob Marley—tell bits and pieces of their stories through verbal dialogue, including hints from Ebenezer's internal, unexpressed thoughts, we begin to solve the puzzle of each man, be he dead or alive! Having already made his transition to death, Jacob is miraculously filled with a sense of purpose that he did not express in life! For seven years (note that beautiful spiritual number 7), he wandered planet Earth, observing the missed opportunities to lovingly enrich the lives of others—thereby enriching his own life with kindness and generosity—before he kicked the bucket! He is an adventurous, pioneering communicator (the compound number 14 is at work) with a powerful message he must relate to his former partner, Ebenezer, and anyone else who's willing to acknowledge him and the veracity of his words.


It would be an understatement to describe the living partner, Ebenezer, as truly living, for he eschews a joyful life when we meet him at the beginning of the story. He is full of hatred, vengeance, jealousy, and miserly and cruel intentions toward his longtime suffering clerk, Bob Cratchit, his own nephew Fred, and others. As Ebenezer reluctantly and begrudgingly gives Jacob his attention, the reader sees the hopelessness and despair of the protagonist's life begin to gradually shift. And there's a distant promise of possibility within Ebenezer’s first name, due to the compound number 36. He is perfectly capable of making better choices of behavior, aggressively and creatively going forward in life; it's all there in that name and number!

The name “Scrooge” describes a miserly loner, always insistent that things go his way. It troubles him not that his sudden bursts of temper and put-down remarks frighten and deflate others, killing any possible expressions of real kindness. Though once upon a time, in his youth, he shyly expressed himself in a kinder, gentler way toward his fiancé, for example. He has since grown a shell of barbed wire around his heart, thoughts, and emotions. With no imagination for the outcome, he has allowed his psyche to deteriorate into the black-filled thoughts and emotions of the monster within—allowing him access to his soul and heart.

It is my belief that there is no author better than Charles Dickens who understands that "like attracts like," represented beautifully in the partnership of "Jacob Marley" and "Scrooge." Both name sets add to the compound number 30, which designates the loner, the individual who will only resonate (big time) with the urges of his inner convictions, be they from his inner light or the darkness of his ego. If there is still the slightest flicker of an inner light, there is hope for redemption and forgiveness, with the distinct possibility of a complete reversal of behavior. This observation of the author in the selection of the names "Jacob Marley" and "Scrooge" is brilliant, in my estimation, for it indicates to me that quite possibly he had insight into Chaldean Numerology! "Scrooge" and "Ebenezer Scrooge" also bear a striking magnetic attraction to one another, as well as to "Jacob Marley." The only difference being that "Ebenezer Scrooge" adds up to the compound number 12 before reducing to the number 3, the number of the creative child.


The creative child is an actor. Depending on his inner equilibrium, meaning if he's happy, sad, indifferent, or exhausted, he will always come from his heart and soul. He will always speak his truth in that moment, but the "truth" he speaks will not necessarily be our truth or the so-called truth of the establishment! I cannot emphasize that enough! The 3 calls it as he sees it, even if it is a lie that he is insistent upon passing off as the truth! (Consider any sociopaths you might know.) Therefore, the name "Scrooge" (30, before reducing to the number 3) is even potentially darker than the name "Ebenezer Scrooge" (12, before reducing to the number 3), which Charles Dickens uses powerfully to the max, in my humble opinion!

Also, keep in mind that the name "Scrooge" has within it the number of the Visionary, the master number 11. As you may recall, I described this brilliant number in my first blog, "The Wisdom of Numbers," in which I spoke of the name "Peggy" used by my mother and her mother and their huge contributions to my life and the lives of others. Once again, the Visionary number 11 has greater potential for Visionary application than the 2—if it CHOOSES to employ any of those larger than life ideas with which it is continuously zapped! (A master number is almost never reduced, depending on its placement in the chart, for it is even potentially bigger in imagination than its normal numerical equivalent, the number 2.)

In my next article, I'll continue this discussion of the master number eleven, how it relates to Charles Dickens and the name of his beautiful story, "A Christmas Carol," and his characters Bob Cratchit and his son, Tiny Tim.

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