- “His mind flew back again, like a strong spring released, to its first position” is a quotation from A Christmas Carol (Stave 2).
- A Christmas Carol is a novella, or short story, written by Charles Dickens and first published in the Christmas of 1843. The allegorical tale tells the story of the transformation of the mean-spirited Ebenezer Scrooge through the visits of the spirit of his former business partner and three ghosts over the course of a Christmas Eve night. It remains a much-loved traditional Christmas tale.
Quote describing Ebenezer Scrooge who is in a state of disbelief and confusion after seeing the Ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley earlier that evening. Marley tells Scrooge that three spirits will visit him that night to try to change his ways and prevent him from sharing his own eternity of pain and suffering. Scrooge has been lying awake, unable to sleep because Marley has told him the first of the Ghosts will visit when the bell tolls One.
This is an example of the figurative language Charles Dickens uses in his works, here using the literary technique of hyperbole (exaggerated language) in the form of a simile to compare Scrooge’s mind to a strong spring released, to its first position. The use of similes helps an author to strengthen a description, and for the reader it helps to better visualize a character or scene in their heads. Dickens is particularly comparing the characteristic of the changing position of a mechanical spring to express human doubt.
- View examples of the literary technique of simile from our collection of Charles Dickens quotations.
Ebenezer Scrooge is one of the most famous characters created by Charles Dickens and arguably one of the most famous in English literature. The protagonist of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is the cold-hearted and mean-spirited accountant. His business partner, the equally mean Jacob Marley, died seven years previous and he lives alone, having never married. Through a visit one Christmas Eve by the ghost of Marley and three subsequent spirits, Scrooge is awakened to his meaness and the impact it has on others.
To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven, and from seven to eight, and regularly up to twelve; then stopped. Twelve! It was past two when he went to bed. The clock was wrong. An icicle must have got into the works. Twelve!
He touched the spring of his repeater, to correct this most preposterous clock. Its rapid little pulse beat twelve: and stopped.
“Why, it isn’t possible,” said Scrooge, “that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night. It isn’t possible that anything has happened to the sun, and this is twelve at noon!”
The idea being an alarming one, he scrambled out of bed, and groped his way to the window. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown before he could see anything; and could see very little then. All he could make out was, that it was still very foggy and extremely cold, and that there was no noise of people running to and fro, and making a great stir, as there unquestionably would have been if night had beaten off bright day, and taken possession of the world. This was a great relief, because “three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge or his order,” and so forth, would have become a mere United States’ security if there were no days to count by.
Scrooge went to bed again, and thought, and thought, and thought it over and over and over, and could make nothing of it. The more he thought, the more perplexed he was; and the more he endeavoured not to think, the more he thought.
Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly. Every time he resolved within himself, after mature inquiry, that it was all a dream, his mind flew back again, like a strong spring released, to its first position, and presented the same problem to be worked all through, “Was it a dream or not?”
Have Your Say.
Give your view on “His mind flew back again, like a strong spring released, to its first position” with a rating and help us compile the very best Charles Dickens quotations.
- If you like this, we think you might also be interested in these related quotations:
We have made our A Christmas Carol quotation slides (seen at the top of each quotation page) available to download for academic or other non-commercial purposes. Available as GIF images, the files can be used for presentation slides, flashcards, handouts etc. Dimensions are 1500 by 850 pixels. We make them free to download and use on the undertanding they are not then sold or used for commercial purposes (and a credit to our site would be nice!).