But which Christmas villain is worse: Ebenezer Scrooge or Dr. Seuss’ Grinch?
Charles Dickens’ notorious miser from early Victorian times displayed certain anti-social tendencies. He was cold, rendering his gait stiff and his thin lips blue.
He was indifferent to human suffering, particularly toward the poor (“if they would rather die, let them do it, and decrease the surplus population”). His business practices were rapacious, buying out his old mentor, Fezziwig, leaving him with nothing, perhaps shady at times, but, so far as we can tell, doing nothing illegal.
His single-mindedness separates him from the relatives he has left. Scrooge cannot fathom how anyone could be happy at Christmas without lots of loot (“what cause have you to be merry?”, he asks his nephew “you’re poor enough.”)
Even so, his wealth never seemed to be used to make him happy. So he doomed himself to be miserable, reclusive, the one love of his life having dumped him out of jealousy over the “golden idol” that had taken over his heart.
The Grinch, however; that’s another kettle of fish.
Living alone atop Who Mountain, with only a trusting dog for a companion, the Grinch allows hate to grow in his heart – a heart Dr. Seuss reveals is two sizes too small (and yes, Seuss actually uses the “h” word). Worse, he devises a plan with all that spare time he has to make sure Christmas doesn’t reach the Whos, in contrast with Ebenezer who seems ready to ride out the Yuletide season.
Worse still, the Grinch puts that plan into action, hitching up a sleigh and making on as though he’s Santa Claus to take from the Whos’ houses rather than give… the very foundation of this holiday.
The only blip in this crime spree is his encounter with little Cindy Lou, who asks him point-blank why he’s stealing. But he reverts back by lying about his motives.
That he becomes kind-hearted and gives everything back is irrelevant, he has violated the Whos’ and shaken their sense of security. If the Whoville Police Department had been in on the case, he’d have a list of charges extending to China. His acts were not just wrong, but, also criminal.
Which Yuletide hater do YOU think is worse? Ebenezer Scrooge or Mr. Grinch? Comment below.