A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol book cover
Start Your Free Trial

what are some examples of a hyperbole in a christmas carol?

Expert Answers info

Jamel Goldner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write249 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Dickens makes wonderful use of hyperbole in A Christmas Carol, at times even using very different hyperbolic statements involving similar focuses. Take for example Scrooge's hyperbole in Stave One, when Fred has come to invite his uncle to come to Christmas dinner. Scrooge has turned down the offer, and is in the process of arguing with his nephew when he says "If I could work my will . . . every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” Here Scrooge makes his feelings on the holiday clear to his nephew by taking two of the most well-known symbols of the holiday, the Christmas pudding and holly and, via hyperbole, turning them into instruments of death and destruction.

In direct contrast to Scrooge's scary Christmas is the hyperbole associated with the pudding that Mrs. Cratchit makes in Stave Three. Mrs. Cratchit is clearly very nervous about the state of the pudding, and when the time comes to bring it to the table she "left the room alone—too nervous to bear witnesses." For Mrs. Cratchit, there is a lot riding on this particular pudding. Bob, being the intuitive, wonderful husband that he is, understands this, and responds accordingly. The rest of the family follows suit:

Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs. Cratchit since their marriage. Mrs. Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind, she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity of flour. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing.

Bob's initial hyperbole is accentuated by that of the narrator itself. One...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 646 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,948 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial