* The Ghost of the Past is flickering, translucent, and indistinct because Scrooge is trying to forget his past, to make it not exist. The bright halo that surrounds it reminds one that the past can never be completely forgotten.
** The harder he tried to snuff out the Ghost's light, the brighter it gets until it's blinding. Scrooge's refusal to accept his past blinds him to the reality of his present life.
* To say nothing of the Ghost of Christmas Future being a dark, hooded figure representing the future's uncertainty and his resemblence to the Grim Reaper, which shows the future we must all eventually face: death.
* There is a layer of subtle terror in Zemeckis' depiction of the Ghost of Christmas Future as an incorporeal shadow. With this spirit Scrooge has no companion to serve as a guide or confidant to share his thoughts. At the beginning when Scrooge talked to the charity men, he said he wished to be left alone, and now he truly is alone.
* In the 2009 Disney adaptation Scrooge takes the pennies off Jacob Marley's eyes. The pennies used as fare to get to the other side to face judgement.
* The ghosts (depending on the adaptation) often bear some semblance to either Ebenezer himself, or to the aspect of Scrooge's life they represent: the candle/glowing figure of the past is indistinct yet bright, because he does not wish to remember the past yet cannot forget it; the large and boisterous ghost of the present often either somewhat looks like a "jolly fat" version of Scrooge or otherwise depicts what a man with his life could be doing if he had the Christmas spirit; so why does the ghost of the future not just look "shadowy and indistinct" but rather ''explicitly'' like the GrimReaper? Well, when you're Scrooge's age, especially in that time frame, there's really only one thing you can expect in the future...
* In the 2009 version, we have two kids named Ignorance and Want. Ignorance seems to spend his life in and out of jail, while Want, a girl, possibly goes down another path of ill-repute. The Brilliance comes when Scrooge is dealing with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and sees the two people picking through his belongings once he's dead. They look a lot like Ignorance and Want.
** Want also gets put in a straitjacket, suggesting a mental asylum. Some venereal diseases--syphilis, particularly--have that effect on the brain and, by extension, the mind.
* Why was Scrooge surprised to find out that he would die alone and hated? He seemed aware of how poorly people thought of him.
** Why was Scrooge, of all people, given this special chance for redemption? Specially if, as Marley claimed, Scrooge's chains (sins) were heavier than his.
*** Scrooge was given a special chance because he possessed the potential to do great good. It was as much for the sake of everyone who was subsequently uplifted by his redemption as much as it was for Scrooge himself.
*** [[FridgeBrilliance It is never stated that Marley and the other ghosts mentioned in the book did NOT receive this chance. It isn't unreasonable to assume that they too got a visit from the spirits one Christmas Eve, but failed to heed their warnings.]]
*** As for why he seemed surprised, it's one thing to think to yourself, "nobody likes me and I don't care", and actually seeing just how little your death affects anything, and how, if anything, his death more or less makes the world BETTER, since he's not around to ruin people's good cheer anymore.