How do Scrooge and his nephew portray opposite opinions?

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besure77's profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Another example of Scrooge and Fred portraying opposite opinions and attitudes is when his nephew Fred invites Scrooge to his annual Christmas party that will be filled with holiday cheer. Scrooge is very rude and of course refuses the invitation but Fred replies with a cheerful "Merry Christmas!" anyway. Scrooge replies with his grumpy "Bah! Humbug!"

This goes to show us that Scrooge has a very bitter attitude, especially around this time of year. Regardless of Scrooge's attitude, Fred remains in cheerful spirits and goes about celebrating Christmas as usual.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In A Christmas Carol Ebeneezer Scrooge and his nephew, Fred, certainly have different opinions and points of view.  This can be seen as early as the first "stave" of the book.

In that part of the book, Fred comes into Scrooge's business and greets him very happily.  The line is

A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!' cried a cheerful voice.

Fred says this even though he surely knows that Scrooge will not be happy to see him.

In return, Scrooge is grumpy, of course.  He and his nephew argue a little.  Scrooge says that Fred has no reason to be so happy.  Fred says Scrooge has no reason to be so glum.

In this way, they show very different attitudes towards life.

kmj23's profile pic

kmj23 | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

Scrooge and his nephew portray opposite opinions through their feelings about Christmas. This is shown in the first stave when they are discussing the purpose and meaning of Christmas. For Fred, Christmas is a time for making "merry" and for unity in society, as he expresses through the following line:

(The) only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.

In contrast, Scrooge's attitude towards Christmas can be summed up by the phrase "bah humbug." For him, Christmas is a pointless celebration because it makes people a "year older" but not an "hour richer." Moreover, he would like to see those who celebrate the season buried with a "stake of holly" through the heart.

This stave also demonstrates the difference in their opinions on making money. For Fred, Christmas does not enrich him ("it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket"), but he still believes it must be celebrated. This derives from the fact that Fred is neither materialistic nor greedy by nature. Scrooge, however, detests Christmas because it costs him money and, therefore, threatens his financial status:

What's Christmas time. . . but a time for paying bills without money?

Only the visits of the three spirits can change Scrooge's attitude and, by stave five, the two men are finally aligned in their attitudes to Christmas and the pursuit of riches. 

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