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Known for his memorable characters, Charles Dickens often sketched them to the extreme so that they would demonstrate one salient and memorable trait. In fact, the names of these personages often became synonymous with their characterizing traits. With Ebenezer Scrooge, for instance, his parsimony and inhumanity is quintessential. In Stave I, for instance, Dickens describes this stinginess and coldness of Scrooge with hyperbolic phrasing in its obvious exaggerations,
...a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, coveetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint...solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features....He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.
...No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, not falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty.
In Stave II, Scrooge is visited by the first of the three spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past. This strange figure, much like a child, but with white hair and, so, like an old man "viewed through some supernatural medium." At times, Scrooge can recognize features and limbs, at other times they are not visible. Certainly, there is an other-worldliness to this creature. Further, when a "melancholy room" becomes visible, Scrooge perceives a solitary boy reading near a meager fire. The room is devoid of all sound, and, again, Dickens describes something in hyperbolic terms. Here is the description of this room in which the young Scrooge sits in a silence assigned a superlative degree by Dickens,
Not a latent echo in the house, not a squeak and scuffle from the mice behind the panelling, not a drip from the half-thawed water-spout in the dull yard behind, not a sign among the leafless boughs of one despondent poplar, not the idle swinging of an empty store-ouse door, no, not a clicking in the fire,...
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