One approach to writing about Dickens's employment of silence is to determine the purpose of silence in the narrative of A Christmas Carol. In order to do this, the writer may wish to peruse the text and note the incidences in the plot in which moments of silence occur. Here are a few instances of silence that should help:
Bob Crachit applauds when Scrooge's nephew cheers the season of Christmas. "Let me hear another sound from you," said Scrooge, "and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation." [Here Bob is intimidated into silence]
After Marley's ghost appears to Scrooge in his lonely room, "the spectre's voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones." As he reflects, Scrooge decides,
To sit, staring at those fixed glazed eyes, in silence for a moment would play, Scrooge felt, the very deuce with him. [Here silence would be disturbing]
Watching Marley's spectre disappear, Scrooge observes many ghosts. Shortly they and "their spirit voices faded together...." [this silence is eerie]
As Dickens journeys with the first ghost to Christmas Past, he witnesses himself as a boy, alone and forgotten. Scrooge weeps as he remembers his forlornness:
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 waterspout in the dull yard behind, not a sigh among the leafless boughs of one despondent poplar, not the idle swinging of an empty store-house door....[Here the silence connotes the young Scrooge's loneliness and isolation]
Once the student has found more instances in which silence carries import, he can find a common denominator, so to speak, of the meaning of silence and form a thesis. Perhaps, the student could form his general statement about silence as being the lack of personal expression, the warmth of companionship, or the like.