Who is Old Fezziwig? How does Scrooge feel about him?

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ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Old Fezziwig was Scrooge's employer when he was a young man. Contrary to Scrooge, Old Fezziwig throws a grand Christmas party for all his employees. He provides food, music and even dancing. This, of course, contrasts with the kind of employer Scrooge has turned out to be. Scrooge has very kind feelings towards this man.

mlsldy3's profile pic

mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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When the ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge on a journey through his past, he is shown Fezziwig. Fezziwig was Scrooge's employer when he was a young man and Scrooge had such respect for the man. He was the kind of employer that worked hard, but also lived a life outside of work. He was kind and gentle, a complete contrast to what Scrooge has become.

Fezziwig is shown to be a kind and generous employer. When the ghost shows Scrooge the Christmas party that Fezziwig threw for his employees, Scrooge is reminded of how much respect he had for the man. He is shown the fun he use to have while working for this great man. As he is watching the party, Scrooge has a moment of regret for the way he treats his own employee, Bob Cratchit. Scrooge is so hard on Bob and treats him very unfair. As he is reminded of Fezziwig, he is reminded of how hard a person he has become. It makes him stop and think, if only for a moment, of how he has become the complete opposite of Fezziwig, the man that Scrooge admired so much.

By being shown Fezziwig and reminded of how much the man meant to him, Scrooge has to really take a look at himself and see that he is nothing like the man who helped him so much. He has become the kind of man, that most people want to stay away from. He had to really look at how he has been living his life and treating the people who genuinely care about him.

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litgeek2015 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Fezziwig is the antithesis of Ebenezer Scrooge, which is interesting because Scrooge could have learned to be a benevolent employer from Fezziwig, and instead turned out to be a terror.

It is clear from Scrooge's reaction to seeing Fezziwig that he thought well of him and remembered him fondly. When the Ghost of Christmas Past makes a joke about the waste of money the party must be, clearly trying to get a reaction from Scrooge, Scrooge responds with,

"He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune" (Stave II).

It is here that we begin to see him realize just how powerful kindness can be, and it is shortly thereafter that he remarks he would like to have a word with his own employee (Bob Cratchit). While Fezziwig's impression on Scrooge earlier in life was not long-lived, the impression made later now that Scrooge is older and now has that "power," is much different and more long-lasting.


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