Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation is one of the most significant in all of Western literature. In the beginning of his story, he is described as
a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
He seems to carry the cold weather around inside him, and he is miserly and chilly toward everyone. No beggars dare to approach him, no children speak to him, and even dogs avoid him. He likes to be alone, and he hates Christmas. In fact, he feels that anyone who walks around wishing people a Merry Christmas "should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." He cares only for money and nothing for compassion. When two men approach him for a donation to help the poor, he suggests that the poor can simply go to the prisons or the workhouses (both...
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