Show some examples of the use of metaphor in A Christmas Carol

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The title of this Dickens' novel defies its contents as the wording, A Christmas Carol, invites the reader to indulge him(her)self in the Christmas spirit - or so it is to be believed. Metaphor is therefore used to great effect to reveal teh cold-heartedness of Scrooge in the bitterly cold winter conditions.

There can be no misunderstanding of Scrooge's character when he suggests that "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips"should be "buried with a stake of holly through his heart." If this metaphor about his feelings toward Christmas do not chill a person's veins then nothing will!

The image created by Marley's chains dragging on the floor creates a dark picture and Marley's warning is far-reaching as he tries to warn Scrooge of what will become of him if he doesn't change. Marley is destined to

wander the earth, walking among humanity as he never did in life

and "the chain I forged in life" is destined to remain with him as a burden to show lost opportunities during his lifetime when he could have helped the less fortunate.

When visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge's own words  "Are there no workhouses?"are repeated to show how unnecessary and cruel he is. To name the two children from this image "Ignorance and Want" must surely bring the message home.  

Scrooge is able to change from a misreable person with no appreciation of his own good fortune:"darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked it" to a worthy citizen who will use his wealth to benefit others. From being perpetually mean and not even treating Christmas Day any differently- "  he didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas" - he has been given a second chance to make things right. The use of the extended metaphor in Stave I (from: " a frosty rime..."makes his transformation all the more poignant.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial