Please define "philanthropy" as it is used in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Philanthropy is a desire to do good for others, often through donating money to  good causes or charities. Synonyms for philanthropy are altruism, humanitarianism, and generosity. Near the beginning of A Christmas Carol two men arrive at Ebenezer Scrooge's workplace asking for money to help the poor, but Scrooge is no philanthropist (yet) and questions the men about whether there are no prisons or workhouses left for the poor to go to. In other words, he would rather people be punished for being poor than helped. Scrooge is the opposite of a philanthropist. By the end of the book, however, the three ghosts have convinced Mr. Scrooge that he has been wrong all along, and that the way to real happiness is through generosity and love. He learns that lesson well and becomes a philanthropist, doing good wherever he can.

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A Christmas Carol

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