Explain how A Christmas Carol suggests that there are different types of poverty.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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When you read A Christmas Carol, you will soon realize that there are several different kinds of poverty. The ideas of poverty and wealth are teased out in several clever ways. Let me give you a few examples.

First, Ebenezer Scrooge is portrayed as wealthy from a financial point of view. However, when it comes to his personal life he is extremely poor. He has no close friends and almost nothing when it comes to intimacy. So, from this point of view, he is very poor.

Second, Scrooge's deceased partner (Jacob Marley), who comes back from the dead, tries to warn him that earthly riches and greed are not good. In fact, Dickens describes the chains that Marley wears as made with cash-boxes and ledgers. Riches mean nothing in the afterlife. From this perspective, Scrooge is a very poor man, indeed.

Third, Bob Cratchit, a clerk whom Scrooge employs is very poor from a financial point of view, and he even has a sick son, Tiny Tim, who will probably die for the lack of medical treatment. However, Cratchit is rich in life. He is loved, has a wonderful family, experiences joy, and shows generosity. This juxtaposition with Scrooge is to show that Bob is actually rich when it comes to the things that matter most.