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Tony Grist

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An Unseasonal Truth [Dec. 14th, 2008|10:21 am]
Tony Grist
I'm sorry to say it, but Dickens was wrong. The Cratchitts would have hated the new, benevolent Scrooge even more than they hated the old, miserly one. You can't buy love by turning up on the doorstep cutting capers and waving a turkey by the neck. A benefactor- especially one there's no hope of repaying- is universally despised.

I've lost friends by being kind to them- and also because they were kind to me. Gifts- big one-sided gifts- can kill a relationship. Equality is replaced by obligation. Much better to sever the link than to be reminded every time you see a person's shining face that you owe them one. They say you should give anonymously so as not to reap the gratitude; I say you should give anonymously so as not to reap the resentment.

There are times when you have no choice but to give- because it's the only moral thing to do- but you shouldn't expect a reward. Rather the reverse.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: redatt
2008-12-14 01:31 pm (UTC)
[It's been a long while since I read A Christmas Carol, so I reserve the right to completely disown and deny saying everything I am about to write about it :~D]

I somewhat disagree in general about kind acts and friendship and partly because of that I disagree about it been more likely for Cratchits to hate Scrooge, but even if I agreed entirely about the former I'd still disagree about the Cratchits.

What Scrooge did for the Cratchits wasn't something the Cratchits were likely to see as being an unplayable act of kindness (or charity), it was, I think, certainly only what Mrs Cratchit felt they were owed in return for her husband's firm loyalty. Bob Cratchit was loyal to Scrooge even in the face of Scrooge's long harsh treatment of him, his wife's protests and his son's suffering, so really in one regard what Scrooge did at the end was only a down payment for what he owed the Cratchits and only what they felt they deserved.


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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-12-14 04:01 pm (UTC)
You've got a good point. Justice is more palatable than mercy. If the Cratchitts felt they were only receiving their due their feelings wouldn't have been so bruised.
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