Ebenezer Scrooge is the principal character in Charles Dickens's 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol. At the beginning of the novel, Scrooge is a cold-hearted, tight-fisted and greedy man, who despises Christmas and all things which give people happiness. Dickens describes him thus: "The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice ..." His last name has come into the English language as a byword for miser and misanthropy, traits displayed by Scrooge in the exaggerated manner for which Dickens is well-known. The tale of his redemption by the three Ghosts of Christmas (Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) has become a defining tale of the Christmas holiday. Scrooge's catchphrase, "Bah, humbug!" is often used to express disgust with many of the modern Christmas traditions.
Several theories have been put forward as to where Dickens got the inspiration for the character.
The story of A Christmas Carol starts on Christmas Eve, with Scrooge at his place of business. The book says that Scrooge lives in London, England. Charles Dickens refers to Scrooge as "...a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" It is usually assumed that he is a banker or professional money lender. Some recent versions portray him as a solicitor. Whatever his main business is, he seems to have usurious relationships with people of little means. These relationships, along with his lack of charity and shabby treatment of his clerk, Bob Cratchit, seem to be his major vices.
His nephew however, has great regard for Christmas and we are introduced to him early in the story where he unsuccessfully attempts to invite Scrooge to his Christmas dinner party only to be rebuffed by Scrooge with a repeatedly said sentence: "Good afternoon"
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Official Site: Charles Dickens
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