“I have endeavoured in the Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. ” Coursework Assignment: Trace the development of Scrooge’s Character throughout the book. Scrooge A Christmas Carol was the first of Dickens enormously successful Christmas books, which grew progressively darker. It was intended as a whimsical sort of masque devised to awaken loving and forbearing thoughts and it appeared in December 1844.
One of Dickens’ main aims was to make people aware of the terrible plight of the children born into poverty. He developed a fictional character, a miserable, cold and miserly man named Scrooge. Throughout this essay I will trace the development of scrooges character by analysing his actions at crucial stages throughout the novel. Dickens describes scrooge as “a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, and covetous old sinner”. Initially I agreed with this negative view of scrooge but as the book develops so does scrooges character and what becomes evident is a completely different person.
Dickens begins the story by describing scrooge’s character. His use of assonance and his constant string of adjectives immediately grab the readers attention and create a powerful atmosphere throughout dickens description of scrooge he repeatedly refers to coldness in a multitude of ways but principally in connection with the weather e. g. “the cold within him froze his features”, “a frosty rime was on his head”, “he carried his own low temperature about him”, “he iced his office”, “external heat and cold had little influence on scrooge”, “no warmth could warm him nor wintry weather chill him” and “no wind that blew was bitterer than he”.
By doing this dickens makes scrooges personality very powerfully clear to the reader. Dickens uses very dark imagery and by doing this he reflects scrooges further. One of the more prominent images is that of “the fog came pouring in at every chink keyhole and was so dense without, that although the court was of the narrowest the houses opposite where near fountains”. The use of words such as “fountains” show signposting where dickens refers to the story line ahead when you delve further into stave 1 you notice that at particular parts the fog thickens and the darkness becomes more pronounced.
This happens at particular times when the morose and evil side of scrooge is dominant, e. g. when scrooge will not give money to charity. In stave 1 dickens uses an extremely accurate simile describing scrooge. He describes him as being “as solitary as an oyster” this device is used to make the reader think about the qualities of an oyster, the treasured pearl inside the shell refers to scrooges wealth the outer casing however, is hard and impenetrable the pearl is on its own in a large case which principally hollow.
It is tightly closed and does not allow anything into it or anything out. This reflects the essence of scrooge. He may have an enormous amount of wealth but he does not share it nor does he allow giving of his time, care and definitely not love. Scrooge appears to feel that happiness can be found by living like this but it becomes apparent that this is not true and the unhappiness and loneliness which scrooge feels as a result of this is shown in his aggressive cold and destructive behaviour. “Hard and sharp as flint” is yet another simile used by dickens to delineate scrooge.
A dictionary definition of a flint is a very hard fine-grained quartz which sparks when struck with steel the fact that it sparks but does not break surely shows the strength which a flint possesses and this simile used by dickens would make you weary of whatever or whomever as the case may be he was describing “as hard and sharp”. Dickens clearly wants to show the severity of scrooges character. Stave 2 is a major turning point within the book as it shows us the first signs of repentance and emotion from scrooge.
As the ghost of Christmas past takes scrooge to the place of his upbringing scrooge became “conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, hopes, and cares long, long, forgotten. Scrooge’s lip begins to tremble and a tear falls upon his cheek. When questioned about this emotion scrooge replies ‘with an unusual catching in his voice that it is a pimple”. The ghost walks with scrooge through his old village as scrooge recollects memories that he thought he had lost forever.
As the spirit takes Scrooge to his old house, Scrooge sees himself as a young boy, reading on his own, a lonely boy. It all becomes too much for Scrooge as he sits down upon a form and weeps to see his poor forgotten self as he had used to be. This shows a dramatic change in Scrooge’s character. Here Dickens gives the reader a clearer and fuller picture of Scrooge and clearly points out the reasons behind Scrooge’s behaviour. Stave two continues drawing the reader into one of Scrooge’s childhood fantasies. As Scrooge exclaims “Why. It’s Ali Baba!
” we see that this is someone Scrooge is very familiar with. Ali Baba first visited Scrooge during the Christmas season many years ago when Scrooge was a mere child, in particular a “solitary” child. Scrooge was so alone as a child that he invented fictional characters that became his friends. He became so caught up in theses fantasies that he began to believe they were real. Scrooge shows further emotion as he ‘laughs and cries’, to see his heightened and excited face which would have been a great surprise to his business friends in the city.