- 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.
This quote is from a paragraph describing Ebenezer Scrooge at the beginning of A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is a cold-hearted tight miser.
A grindstone is a thick disc of stone used to sharpen knives and tools. The disc rotates at high-speed to achieve this. Grindstone was often used as a metaphor in phrases to represent work or working. For example, keeping your nose to the grindstone is an expression often used to show diligent working. In this case, the quotation conveys to the reader that Scrooge is an individual obsessed with work.
This is an example of the figurative language Charles Dickens uses in his works, here using a metaphor to represent Scrooge’s qualities to that of a grindstone. A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes something by saying it is something else. It’s not actually true but it gives the reader a clearer idea of what it is like. A grindstone is a common metaphor for industriousness.
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.
Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. 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.
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