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 Post subject: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:57 pm 
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With the Christmas holidays coming up, I think it would be fun to have a little Christmas related debate between two well known story book characters, both from classic stories that everyone knows, and if you don't know the story in any incarnation, whether by reading the books themselves, or seeing at least some variation of the movies, shame on you.

It's quite obvious that there is a parallel between Ebenezer Scrooge from the timeless classic by Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, and Dr. Suess's Grinch from How the Grinch stole Christmas. Both of the main characters of each story have a deep loathing for the Christmas holiday, and both come to love the holiday by the end of the story.

So my question is, who was worse? Who was more evil so to speak between the two?

I'll share my thoughts on it, but first I'd like to hear yours. :)

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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:23 am 
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I think the answer is the Grinch. He actually attempts to ruin Christmas for everyone else. Where as Scrooge just wants to be left alone in his misery, for the most part. The only other person that Scrooge makes things difficult is his employee Cratchit.

Personally, I think A Christmas Carol is the better story. It is even a horror story in part, due to the ghosts. There are some things about the story I don't care for but I won't go in to them.

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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Oh, Boogeyman, you really stole my thunder! I wasn't anticipating the precise form this question took. I thought I was going to be asked which story I prefer. In that case, Dickens, hands down. But if you are asking me which character is meaner, probably the Grinch, who actively tries to destroy Christmas for everyone else. The only person over whom Scrooge has any immediate power is Bob Cratchitt, who nevertheless would celebrate Christmas even on the meager salary Scrooge is willing to give him before his experience with the Christmas ghosts.

You know, Dickens to a large extent helped define our modern conception of Christmas with his Christmas tales, of which Christmas Carol is the most prominent. But Christmas had been a largely forgotten festival in English-speaking countries prior to his generation. I mean, the resurgence wasn't altogether Dickens's doing, of course. He was riding a wave of increased interest in the holiday. But he contributed mightily to popularizing it. Even now, when we picture "old-timey" Christmas, we are most likely to imagine people in Victorian dress. We can thank Dickens for that.


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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Boogeyman wrote:
I think the answer is the Grinch. He actually attempts to ruin Christmas for everyone else. Where as Scrooge just wants to be left alone in his misery, for the most part. The only other person that Scrooge makes things difficult is his employee Cratchit.

Personally, I think A Christmas Carol is the better story. It is even a horror story in part, due to the ghosts. There are some things about the story I don't care for but I won't go in to them.


wow, you expressed everything I would have said......

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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:10 am 
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I just heard that we didn't always have Christmas off. I won't go into the reasons because it gets political. But it puts the character of Scrooge in more context when he complains about Cratchit getting the day off with pay.

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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:09 am 
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I actually think Scrooge was worse. Here's my reasoning:

Sure the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, but he never otherwise tried to harm anyone. He didn't wish death on anyone, and he learned to love Christmas on his own "Maybe Christmas perhaps, is a little bit more."

Scrooge on the other hand, it took three ghosts to scare him into becoming a better person, four if you count Jacob Marley. Scrooge also said "If they'd rather die then they'd better do it, and decrease the surplus population!" Scrooge would never have become a good hearted individual on his own, while the Grinch on the other hand, did change of his own accord. Had Scrooge heard the villagers singing, he simply would've responded with "Bah humbug!"

I'm actually surprised at all the responses that say the Grinch was worse. ^^; Of course, I don't believe either party was born evil (unless you accept the newer Grinch remake with Jim Carey, because he was a mischievious child as a baby) but it seems to me Scrooge was evil out of his own insecurity about never having enough money. No one really knows for sure why the Grinch became evil.

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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:27 am 
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Acually, Scrooge was bitter because his one true love Belle, broke off their relationship due to his extreme focus on work and money. She later gets married and is happy. I think that is the reason for the bitterness.

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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:23 am 
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I guess I see it as the final nail in the coffin. I think Scrooge was insecure because he grew up in a poor household and struggled, and he didn't want the same for his own potential family. I don't think it's that he didn't care about Belle, he just wanted to have a good future with her where they didn't have to worry about the finances, where they didn't have to struggle like his own family did. Sometimes that does require work and sacrifice to be possible, and Belle didn't understand that. So to be fair, I think she was kind of selfish for breaking it off with them, but I do see how her leaving him would have made him bitter. Once she left, he turned to the one thing he had left, money, and became so obsessed with it he didn't want to spare a single dime of it. I think he forgot why he worked so hard to be a successful business man to begin with.
Sadly I think this happens to people in real life.

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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:08 pm 
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I love Christmas Carol and have a facsimile first edition which I read every year, so I can recite passages of it. There was a time, when my first child was little, that I could recite the Grinch by heart, too, because I read it to him so often. However, although I love the Grinch, Christmas Carol is by far the more important story of the two for me.

It is true that Christmas wasn't a big celebration in English-speaking lands in the 18th century, and interest in it was reviving during the 1830s & '40s (Christmas Carol came out in 1843, if memory serves). I believe the English stopped celebrating it in a big way during the Civil War period (1640s), when the Puritans were in control for about twenty years and outlawed it (too Catholic & too pagan for them). After the Restoration, I think people were afraid to have much to do with religion, actually, since they had had a civil war about it. So Christmas was kind of anemically celebrated compared to what it had been during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I think it is true that businesses and governments, etc., didn't routinely take off for it. That started to change when the English began taking an antiquarian interest in their own traditions and past, and when the German diaspora of the 19th century caused them to spread their customs (Christmas trees, for example) around the world.

Many of Scrooge's comments early in the novella are expressions of philosophies in vogue during Dickens' lifetime. So, yeah, you do have to put it in period context to understand where Scrooge is coming from. But I also agree that you get lots of clues within the story that Scrooge didn't have to be the man he turned out to be. He was a sensitive, imaginative child who had been raised in a mostly loveless environment, and he did fear poverty tremendously because of his early experience. I don't necessarily think Belle's rejection is altogether what "turned" him, since she rejects him only after it becomes apparent to her that he is growing so avaricious. But without her ameliorating influence, there is no check on his self-centered nature, which is certainly driven by fear.

Scrooge is a very complex, interesting character. My favorite interpretation of him on screen is George C. Scott's (1984). I think Scott gets Scrooge's sarcastic humor and intelligence just right.


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 Post subject: Re: A Christmas Debate: Scrooge Versus The Grinch?
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:16 pm 
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I'm reminded of the time a buddy got a wee bit drunk and decided to tell A Christmas Carol from memory. He kept calling Jacob Marley, Bob Marley! All I could do was think of a George C. Scott and the rest of the characters with Rastafarian braids and smoking ganja! LOL!

I'm partial to George C Scotts portrayal too, but I also enjoy the Bill Murray modern version, Scrooged.


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