A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol book cover
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How does Dickens use tone to describe the main character and create atmosphere in the beginning of "A Christmas Carol"?

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Dickens uses a lot of figurative language to describe Ebenezer Scrooge very harshly.  He also carefully establishes the dark yet hopeful mood of the story.

Tone is the author’s attitude toward the subject.  The description of Scrooge is not sympathetic at all.  Scrooge is described in detail, with very harsh and caustic language that drips of imagery.

Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! (stave 1)

Dickens also uses figurative language and other heavily descriptive language to describe Scrooge.

Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. (stave 1)

Scrooge is not physically attractive, and he does not have a...

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