illustration of Ebenezer Scrooge in silhouette walking toward a Christmas tree and followed by the three ghosts

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

Start Free Trial

What are the relationships between the words "frugal" and "Ebenezer Scrooge," and "continent" and "abstemious"?

Expert Answers

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

In both of these cases, the first word is sort of a good thing and the second word is an exaggeration of the first.

To be frugal is to not waste money.  It is a good thing.  But Ebeneezer Scrooge (in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol) is beyond frugal.  He is so stingy that he hurts other people.

To be continent is to not overdo things.  It is to do things, but do them in moderation.  To be abstemious is to just not do things.  So if you drink a little bit now and then, you are continent.  If you never drink at all, you are abstemious.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team