Dickens uses language to draw us into the story and to present characters and scenes that are entertaining. He uses a strong narrative voice that comments on the characters at the same time as telling their story. The narrator, though unnamed, has opinions about Scrooge and his tale. He also places himself and the reader at the heart of the action, by suggesting that he is 'standing in the spirit at (the reader's) elbow.'
Dickens's language is highly descriptive and creates a vivid sense of place and setting.
|Clear narrative voice||Dickens uses a narrative voice that offers opinions on the characters. For example 'Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge!'||The narrative voice is entertaining and instructs the reader how to feel about Scrooge.||We trust the narrator and know instantly that Scrooge is a man who is miserly and unpleasant.|
|Simile||When Dickens first presents Scrooge he describes him as 'Hard and sharp as flint'.||The simile likens the character to something that the reader can recognise.||We see that Scrooge is tough and unbreakable.|
|Dialogue||Dickens reveals the characters through the things they say. Scrooge famously uses the words 'Bah!' and 'Humbug!' in response to Christmas wishes.||The simple words are memorable and show that Scrooge is dismissive about Christmas.||Scrooge's determination to disengage with the spirit of Christmas shows him to be bad-tempered.|
|Personification||When Dickens describes Scrooge's childhood, he uses personification to emphasise how 'merry' the sound of the young boys is by saying 'the crisp air laughed to hear it!'||The sound of the boys playing and shouting is so delightful that even the 'air' is laughing.||The effect of this personification is to show how everything is affected by the good nature of the children. This contrasts with Scrooge's adult self.|
|Metaphor||The children 'Ignorance' and 'Want' are used to represent all the poor children in society: 'They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish'.||The children under the Ghost of Christmas Present's cloak are a metaphor showing the effects of greed and miserliness.||The reader, like Scrooge, feels pity for these 'ragged' children and this extends to a sense of responsibility for all the poor and homeless children in society.|
Dickens describes the alleyways where the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes Scrooge as:
Alleys and archways, like so many cesspools, disgorged their offences of smell, and dirt, and life, upon the straggling streets; and the whole quarter reeked with crime, with filth, and misery.Dickens's description the alleyways
How does the language in this quotation create a sense of place?
'Alleys and archways, like so many cesspools, disgorged their offences of smell, and dirt, and life, upon the straggling streets; and the whole quarter reeked with crime, with filth, and misery.'