Which group of businessmen do you think Scrooge was most interested in impressing?

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When Scrooge has his interaction with the final ghost, the frightening phantom of all the Christmases yet to come, he sees and overhears a group of fat businessmen talking about a dead man. He has no idea that they are speaking of him. However, he pays attention, and we learn that these men were

very wealthy, and of great importance. He had made a point always of standing well in their esteem: in a business point of view, that is; strictly in a business point of view.

Scrooge, in other words, caters to men like him who are "above" him in that they have become greater and more successful. They, like him, are willing to make money on the backs of the poor and unfortunate, and they most likely share Scrooge's hard-hearted philosophy that the poor who can't "make it" should die and rid the world of excess population.

Scrooge, much earlier in the book, also shows the kind of person he respects. After rudely and savagely scorning the philanthropists and do-gooders who want his help at Christmas, he shows "humility and deference" to the ghost of his dead partner, Marley, and says to him,

But you were always a good man of business, Jacob.

Like Scrooge, Marley was a hard-hearted penny-pincher in life.

As Marley tries to tell him, the real business of life is far more expansive than the narrow business of making money. Scrooge needs to learn the lesson that his business is not to cater to a group of wealthy, hard-hearted businessmen, but to serve all of mankind.

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