The Theme of Business in A Christmas Carol


What is a man’s/one's business? When it comes to what man’s business is there are several different interpretations of what it truly is. Some people could argue that one’s business is to treat others kindly. In the novel, A Christmas Carol the author , Charles Dickens often displays that he believes one’s business is to treat mankind kindly. The main character of the novel,   Ebenezer Scrooge, is undergoing a change in perspective regarding one’s business.  In the beginning of the novel, Scrooge believes that that one’s business is their source of income and profession. By the end characters have impacted him strongly, ultimately leading him to change his perspective.

Scrooge is a man who focuses  on his source of income, therefore he believed that a man's business is to earn money. Scrooge’s view on one’s business impacts the novel by providing the reader with information on his beliefs before he changes his perspective. Scrooge had lived most of his life striving to earn as much money as he could, he wasn’t bothered when he mistreated others to reach his goal. Dickens wrote, “If they would rather die,’ said Scrooge ‘they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population…’ ‘But you might know it’ observed the gentleman ‘It's not my business  returned Scrooge'' ( Dickens 6). Scrooge was asked to donate to those in need, he replied by saying it wasn’t his business to donate. This provides the reader with an example when Scrooge displayed his view on one’s business, being not that of kindness but greed. The novel states, “ But you were a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge…”Business!’ cried the ghost “Mankind was my business…” (Dickens 14). Scrooge was visited by the ghost of his former business-partner who once viewed one’s business the same as Scrooge;  Scrooge is shown explaining to the ghost that even though he treated people harshly  he was a man who was good at business as if that made up for everything he put people through. The Ghost had realized that life isn't about money but treating people kindly when it was too late, ultimately was forced to an everlasting punishment.

Scrooge had been visited by  several spirits who had a goal to change his perspective on a man's business, and the spirits had a great effect on scrooge. Scrooge had learned that a man’s business should not be income and work but treating mankind with kindness. Scrooge had been harsh to several people in his lifetime, furthermore  he is beginning to regret how he treated people. The author states, “ Nothing,'' said Scrooge ‘ Nothing. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I would like to have given him something that's all” (Dickens 22). Scrooge was coming into the understanding that  work is not one's business but possibly it is to treat others with kindness. Scrooge along with understanding what one's business is also realized how much he regretted how harshly he treated people. In the novel, “No, no’ said Scrooge ‘Oh, no kind spirit says he will be spared…’ ...returned the ghost ‘...If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population’... Scrooge hung his head low to hear his own words quoted by the spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.” (Dickens 40). Scrooge began to realize that the way he had acted and thought in the past was very upsetting, and inaccurate to the way  he acts and thinks now.

Throughout the course of the novel, Dickens displayed that one’s business is to treat mankind with kindness. But in the novel A Christmas Carol Chareles Dickens often displayed that he believed one’s business is to treat mankind kindly. The main character of the novel, Scrooge, underwent  a change in perspective regarding one’s business. In the beginning of the novel, Scrooge believes that that one’s business is their source of income and job. By the end characters have impacted him strongly ultimately leading him to change his perspective. Scrooge understood that one’s business was to treat others with kindness.

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