Explain how two characters are fundamentally different and similar in A Christmas Carol.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scrooge and Bob Cratchit can be seen as similar.  Both work in the "real world."  Both are in the professional setting and both represent how individual jobs and responsibilities in the modern setting occupy much of a person's being.  Both characters represent the professional work mode.  While there is an obvious difference in that Cratchit is subordinate to Scrooge at work, the reality is that they both are working men, beings who recognize that part of their condition in the world is bound by work.

Yet, a primary difference between them is their approach to this work setting. Scrooge has no problem being dominated by it.  Scrooge makes his work his life.  The reason for his transformation is set in how he sees his entire being revolve around work.  Bob Cratchit sees his work as merely "a job."  It does not define him.  Dickens deliberately defines Cratchit in a manner that enables him to see more than work as defining his place in the world:  "[Cratchit] went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times, in honour of its being Christmas eve, and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman's bluff."  A significant difference between Scrooge and Cratchit is how each views work.  Cratchit views it as a part of his consciousness, able to balance it with other elements around him such as the world, his family, and the joy of being around others.  Scrooge sees his being as only defined by work and this becomes the reason for his transformation.