What does Tiny Tim symbolize?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Dickens uses Tiny Tim to represent everything that Scrooge is not.  Whereas Scrooge is miserly and embodies much in way of misery, Tiny Tim is optimistic even if his circumstances would deny such a condition.  At the same time, Tiny Tim embodies the spirit of community and hopeful optimism that Scrooge is not.  Dickens uses Tiny Tim to embody the themes that are central to the work.  Tim represents innocence, and a sense of redemption that is intrinsic to much of what the work seeks to impart through Scrooge's transformation.  When Scrooge is told that he "fears the world too much," it is Tim that displays how one should face the world.  Tim does not face the world with fear and apprehension, but rather with a sense of positive strength and unbounded energy.  Tim represents the idea that individuals do not need to take the form of the world around them.  Rather, they can rise and become a transformational figure in this world.  Such a lesson is something that Tim embodies.  When Scrooge sees Tim die, it is the death of this symbolism, and helps to drive Scrooge to change his ways.  Once again, Tim symbolizes the agent of chnge that is intrinsic to the work's effectiveness.


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