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Ebenezer Scrooge

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Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character of Charles Dickens' 1843 novel A Christmas Carol. He is a selfish and miserly old man who works as an Investment Banker and Commodities broker in London. Scrooge has no appreciation for fun and kindness, seeing it as a waste, and is hated by everyone else due to his nature. He has a particular hatred of Christmas (and the holiday season, in general), being the time of kindness and giving that it is. To him, "peace on Earth" and "Good will to all men" is like a knife to his heart (until his reformation at the end of the film). Scrooge was portrayed by Michael Caine in The Muppet Christmas Carol and voiced by Jim Carrey (who also voices the three spirits who visit him) in the 2009 film adaptation. The character of Scrooge is partially inspired by Ralph Nickleby, a cruel moneylender in an earlier Dickens novel called Nicholas Nickleby.

Role in the story

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his long-dead business partner, Jacob Marley, who died exactly seven years ago (apparently, on Christmas Eve). Like Scrooge, Marley was a bitter miser in life and, as punishment for his evil ways, is now damned to eternally wander the earth, carrying heavy chains representing his acts of greed in life. Marley tells Scrooge that if he does not immediately change his ways, he will suffer a similar fate and informs him that he will be visited by three more spirits that night. As of that moment, Scrooge's journey to redemption had begun.

The first of the three spirits is the candle-like Ghost of Christmas Past, who shows Scrooge his own troubled past, including how he became the miserable old man he is and that his selfishness cost him his ex-fiancee, Belle.

Next is the Ghost of Christmas Present: a hairy mini-giant, who shows him things as they currently are, including the joys of the Christmas season and why Scrooge is so hated. In addition, he shows Scrooge the poor living conditions of Scrooge's underpaid and poorly treated employee, the good-natured Bob Cratchit, and his family, who are, nevertheless, thankful for what little they have. Cratchit's son, Tiny Tim, is very ill and will die if Scrooge's behavior does not change. The ghost also warns Scrooge about Want and Ignorance before he dies.

The third and most ghastly spirit, the mute, but Grim Reaper-like Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, shows Scrooge what will happen if he does not change his ways. This ghost occasionally chases Scrooge around London while riding a ghost-like hearse drawn by two horses (perhaps toying with Scrooge). One scene sees Scrooge shrunk and escaping through drainpipes. In this future, Scrooge has just died and is completely unmourned by the people; his death is, in fact, celebrated by many. In addition, Tiny Tim has also recently died. Scrooge, sitting before his own grave, is horrified and begs the silent spirit for forgiveness, promising to change his ways, when he suddenly wakes up.

It is Christmas morning and Scrooge immediately greets the people of London with his newfound kindness and enthusiasm, giving Bob Cratchit a raise and creating a bright future for Tiny Tim.

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