How does Dickens use imagery and language to present the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in Stave one of 'A Christmas Carol?'

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How does Dickens use imagery and language to present the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in Stave one of ‘A Christmas Carol?’

   Charles Dickens started writing ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the 18th Century. Whilst writing the novel he was experiencing a world that had totally forgotten about Christmas and had no time for it. It was the industrial revolution, things were changing and with it the people were. They did not have time to enjoy Christmas they were more bothered about earning money. This is the kind of character Scrooge is which I will explain later on.

   Being in this kind of world affected Dickens novel; but it also influenced him to create a character called Scrooge. Who wouldn’t care about Christmas; and only caring for business and money. Dickens knew that if he could get people into the Christmas spirit by attracting their attention to his novel. But little did he know he was about to re-inject the Christmas spirit into Britain.

   Dickens kicks off his extravagant novel by introducing a dead character with the name of Marley who he chose to create as a Ghost. By starting off his novel like this Dickens is directly addressing the reader – by using the word ‘You’:

   ‘You will therefore permit me to repeat emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail’.

   By addressing the reader like this it automatically draws the reader into the story as though they are experiencing what Dickens is trying to make them experience – by making them apart of the story by being addressed directly. It also makes the reader want to know more for example they might want to know why Marley is dead and therefore this makes them read on.

   The main character of the novel is named Scrooge. He is present by dickens as a:

   ‘Squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching,                                                          

   covetous old sinner!’

   By doing this it makes the reader think that Scrooge is an old, mean, miserable man. Of which has no friends in existence – excluding his past.

   Dickens mentions that Scrooge is:


   Meaning that he would ‘Squeeze’ every last drop out of anything he could, not only money but make people work over their limit. For example Bob Cratchit, his apprentice would work as hard as he could each day, and make Scrooge feel that Bob hasn’t got away with easy money.

   Scrooge is described by Dickens in many different ways; for example Dickens compares him with other things:

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   ‘External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge.            No warmth could warm, nor wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he.’

   In this small paragraph dickens has used a good use of imagery – weather imagery. He compares Scrooge with the weather and shows that he a cold person who could never be warm hearted. Dickens shows that Scrooge has no feeling, nothing can chill him, and nothing can warm him. Scrooge is immensely described as worse than the weather:


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