Dickens uses Fezziwig to represent views and values, which were once a common way of life for people, to give to the poor and help others, yet these values, and ideals were slowly fading in the 19th Century economic change Shown to Scrooge by the Ghost of Christmas Past, was old happy and energetic Fezziwig, who he was once apprenticed to when he was young, who taught Scrooge to be sharp witted, cunning moneylender like himself. The Ghost of Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to his young adulthood, to relearn the valuable lessons, which Fezziwig taught about life, that wealth and greed, should never come before generosity and those close around you.
Fezziwig, the avid businessman, had plenty of money, yet lent it generously, while not holding back in throwing large parties every Christmas for every single one of his workers and some of their close friends. Fezziwig views his workers as members of his family, contrasting with Scrooge who wants nothing to do with his own nephew, only son of his sister, let alone one of his workers like Bob Crachit.
Fezziwig and his wife were excellent hosts, involving themselves in every dance despite their age, showing that they were a “top couple… a good stiff piece of work cut out for them.” Fezziwig was described as being quite old, yet lively, wearing a large Welsh wig, while having the dexterity to still be fit as an old man, in comparison to Scrooge who’s described as sickly and stiff, showing how by associating yourself with others, it keeps your spirit alive and active, when you seclude yourself, you tend to stop caring about yourself and everyone and everything around you.
Not only did Fezziwig invite everyone who worked for him to enjoy and to have a merry Christmas, at the end of the night, he even went to the effort to, “shaking hands with every person individually” showing how he cared and thought well of every single worker of his, while you hear young Scrooge and Dick “pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig.”
The ghost of Christmas past helps to trip Scrooge’s guilt, by quoting “a small matter… to make these silly folks so full of gratitude”, showing how insubstantial the amount of money and how effortlessly it would cost Scrooge to give to his workers, like Fezziwig gave to him, and how big the reward of seeing gratitude in the eyes of his workers would have and its impact. “Fezziwig had the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lay in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then? The happiness he gave was quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
Fezziwig is a vital, key character in Scrooges transformation, used by Dickens as a FOIL against the character of Scrooge, shown to him by the Ghost of Christmas Past, contrasting the two types of rich, the one who shows kindness and generosity, reaping the rewards, by seeing the gratitude and fulfilment of happiness that brings, by giving to others. The other was on the opposite side like Scrooge, being lonely and bitter, with all the wealth in the world, yet a smile never breaking out onto their cold faces. The memory of Fezziwig’s generosity and holiday cheer helped to jolt and move Scrooge’s stony heart.
Courtney from Study Moose
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