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Dickens believes Scrooge's solitude is a form of hell. How does Scrooge condemn himself...

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amir-nit | Salutatorian

Posted October 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM via iOS

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Dickens believes Scrooge's solitude is a form of hell. How does Scrooge condemn himself to such a fate before his change of heart?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM (Answer #1)

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Dickens is effective in conveying how Scrooge has constructed a "solitude" which is emotionally deadening, resembling a frigid form of the inferno.  Naturally, this is communicated in how Scrooge refuses to pay for heat and lighting, living in cold and darkness. This vision of hell is of Scrooge's own choosing, a condition of solitude that he has defined for himself with his beliefs and attitudes towards others.  

Dickens also develops Scrooge's form of being as an issue of self- choice with what Scrooge says.  His attitudes towards the holidays and the simple premise of good will towards others are self- inflicted wounds:

"If I could work my will," said Scrooge, indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"

The fact that Scrooge spits so much venom towards those who enjoy the spirit of the holidays and the spirit of connection with others reflects how Dickens feels Scrooge's solitude is reflective of a personal hell.  When Scrooge speaks of how people should "die" in order to reduce "the surplus population," it is another reminder how the Scrooge's solitude is actually chaining him, preventing him from finding happiness.  While Scrooge might believe that happiness is there, the chains he sees enveloping Marley's ghost is reflective of the chains that Scrooge has forged in his own solitude, preventing him from finding any form of happiness in his life.

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