What does Scrooge symbolize in the beginning of A Christmas Carol?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge symbolizes the part of the upper class which is concerned only with themselves and the amount of money they can make. They are very egocentric and have the attitude that they worked for their money and they should get to keep every cent of it, forgetting that others have not had the same privileges or opportunities as they have. Scrooge represents greed and selfishness, and his attitude is that the poor get what they deserve. It is as if he sees poor people as less than human. It takes visits from his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the three Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, to get him to understand that he has an obligation to those less fortunate, and in fulfilling that obligation, he will not only help them, but he will also become a happier man. 

mapriem eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning of this famous novel, Scrooge, appropriately named, is suffering from a bad case of nastiness, and bitterness due to the coming of the Holiday, Christmas. He exhumes negativity to those around him and insists that this is a meaningless holiday.  Many people can relate to these stresses as their life seems dull and meaningless thinking their actions and words do not mean anything to anybody.  Scrooge symbolizes many characteristics of depression and negativity as he is in need of counseling and reminders of his own possible contributions to life and others.

fezziwig eNotes educator| Certified Educator

On one level, Scrooge symbolizes the greed and hardened hearts of the aristocracy of the Victorian era who felt that the best place for many of the impoverished was in the workhouses, and there were hundreds of thousands in need of common comforts.