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Scrooge is a miserly old man who hoards his money. Initially, Scrooge finds the poor and poverty stricken to be an annoyance. He feels that they somehow deserve their plight and he should not be expected to prolong their miserable existence by giving charity. When a charity worker laments that people would rather die than go to the filthy workhouses, Scrooge replies:
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."