A Christmas Carol Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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In "A Christmas Carol", explain carefully how Bob Cratchit refers to Scrooge.  What does he say?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Bob Cratchit has every reason to hate and despise Scrooge. Scrooge is rich but the poor clerk has to warm his frozen fingers over a candle, which doesn't work well. Scrooge begrudges having to pay Bob for one day off a year. He also doesn't pay Cratchit enough to even begin to imagine affording medical treatments for his poor disabled son, Tiny Tim, who will die without help.

All the same, Bob speaks of Scrooge with a generosity of spirit that is a marked contrast to Scrooge's hard, withered personality. He refuses to speak poorly of his employer, preferring to toast Scrooge for providing the wages that paid for the family's modest Christmas feast. When he can't find anything good to say and can't contradict his wife's hard words, he says nothing at all, focusing instead on it being Christmas Day. He says, twice, in response to her critique of Scrooge, "Christmas Day."

Bob's refusal to be unkind reflects the Christmas spirit that the Ghost of Christmas Present has sprinkled liberally on his poor home. 


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Edith Sykes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Bob Cratchit is very respectful of Mr. Scrooge.  When he is celebrating Christmas with his family, he offers a toast in his honor.  His wife is not as charitable as he is about his miserly boss.  However, Bob Cratchit keeps his respectful tone and chides his wife into wishing Scrooge well for the sake of Christmas. He is very loyal to Mr. Scrooge even tough he is abused by him.

"'Mr Scrooge!' said Bob; 'I'll give you Mr Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast!'    'The Founder of the Feast indeed!' cried Mrs Cratchit, reddening. 'I wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it.'    'My dear,' said Bob, 'the children! Christmas Day." (Dickens) 

"It should be Christmas Day, I am sure,' said she, 'on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. You know he is, Robert. Nobody knows it better than you do, poor fellow." (Dickens)

"My dear,' was Bob's mild answer, 'Christmas Day." (Dickens) 

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