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Characterization of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol Essay


One of the most common and well liked Christmas tales in the English literature is "A Christmas Carol". Charles Dickens created one of the most famous literary characters, Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as the most commonly well liked story, A Christmas Carol. Dickens uses four characterization techniques to invent Scrooge. The first technique used by Dickens is physical description, describing how Scrooge physically looks. The second technique is Ebenezers own speech, thoughts, feelings, or actions. Also, Dickens establishes Scrooge by the speech, thoughts, feelings, or actions, of other characters towards Ebenezer. Lastly, Dickens own comments also serve to help develop Ebenezer. These character techniques make up the character Ebenezer Scrooge.

Dickens uses physical description to characterize Scrooge. "The cold within him freezes his old features, nips his pointed nose, shrivels his cheek, stiffens his gait; makes his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and speaks out shrewdly in his grating voice."(p6) This quote is portraying a lot. It describes the physical appearance of Ebenezer. The reader could see that Scrooge is incredibly bitter, and coldhearted. Englands most tightfisted hand at the grindstone, a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, clutching, covetous, old sinner." (p6) This quote gives the reader thought of Scrooges behavior, and character traits. "A self-contained man, and as solitary as an oyster You are able to identify that scrooge is pitiless by the way Dickens describes him. Scrooge is awfully inconsiderate due to his personality. Dickens perfects the first technique of illustrating Scrooge.

A great way Dickens characterizes Scrooge is by his own speech, thoughts, feelings, or actions. "I'd rather see myself dead than see myself with your family. This quote expresses that Ebenezer has no consideration for anyones feelings, other than himself. Also, the quote portrays that he has no value of family or love. He has no regret hurting his own nephew emotionally. "What else can I be when I live in a world of fools such as this? What's Christmastime to you but a time for paying bills without any money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer? If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled in his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." Youre able to see how bad-mannered and unkind Scrooge is. Scrooge is so bitter and stubborn that he will not give a penny of his own wealth to charity. "Many can't, and many would rather die". "If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population, besides - excuse me, I don't know that. Scrooge saying that people living in poverty should die. Thats an incredibly vile and disgraceful thing to say. The quotes Dickens uses to characterize Scrooge fit the character properly.

The thoughts, feelings, or an action of other characters does a superb job of describing the main character. "Ah yes, bed curtains". "You don't mean to say you took 'em down, rings and all, with him lying there." This is after Scrooge's death, and these people are mocking him of stealing his possessions while he is dead. This shows that Scrooge wasnt cared for. "What has he done with his money"? I haven't heard. Have you". "He hasn't left it to me, that's all I know". Not to me neither. What about you, you got his money?" "Me, me, his money? No". These men were Scrooges business associates, and now that he is dead they are imitating his greediness. "It's likely to be a cheap funeral, for upon my life, I don't know of a living soul that would venture to it." This quote however, explains how people did care for Scrooge and how many friends he made over his life time. Dickens's quotes of other characters help to demonstrate the character of Scrooge, and describe him perfectly.

Last, but not least Dickens own comments also serve to help develop Ebenezer as well as the other 3 techniques. You must stay a while with scrooge and watch him play out his scroogey life. It is now the story: the once-upon-a-time. Scrooge is busy in his counting-house. Where else? Christmas Eve and Scrooge is busy in his counting-house. It is cold, bleak, biting weather outside: foggy withal: and, if you listen closely, you can hear the people in the court go wheezing up and down beating their hands upon their breasts and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them (p8) Dickens expresses Ebenezers bitterness throughout this quote. You can see by the statement Where else, Christmas Eve and Scrooge is busy in his counting-house that scrooge is careless about his family. Also, youre able to pick-up hes content with working on Christmas Eve, and it doesnt phase him. The book wouldnt be complete without Dickens own direct comments.

Dickens characterization skills created one of the most famous literary characters. In the novel "A Christmas Carol" all four characterization techniques are used to establish Scrooge. The novel wouldnt be the same if Dickens had not used each technique entirely. "A Christmas Carol" would not be world famous if Ebenezer Scrooge was not characterized flawlessly by Mr. Charlie Dickens.

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