How Does Dickens Present the Character of Scrooge in the First Stave

How does Dickens present the character of Scrooge in the first stave?

When reading stave one of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Scrooge is presented as a miserly, tightfisted and uncharitable character. Scrooge values money above all else and has no regard for family values or friendship. The novella explores the problem of poverty in Victorian society and the need for Ebenezer Scrooge to have a complete change of character. Charles Dickens strongly believed in the rich helping the poor.

The chapter begins lightheartedly as the omniscient narrator humorously discusses the fact that Jacob Marley is dead. The chapter does become darker when the character of Ebenezer Scrooge is introduced.   Dickens uses imagery and hyperbolic (deliberately exaggerated) phrasing to draw attention to the fact Scrooge is not a pleasant character when he writes “Oh! But he was a tightfisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!   The lists of adjectives used in that paragraph of writing emphasize how oppressive his character is. All of the adjectives are connected with the hands, showing he holds tightly onto everything he owns; thus demonstrating Scrooge is miserly and stingy. This point is also emphasized earlier in the chapter when Jacob Marley’s funeral is described ‘He solemnized it with an undoubted bargain’ meaning he did not even spend money on his only friends funeral. The use of an exclamation mark after the ‘Oh!’ shows how the narrator is outraged by how unpleasant Scrooge is and draws attention to the point with the description that followed. Dickens uses long sentences to list lots of items to create an impact and short sentences such as ‘Marley was dead: to begin with’ to make a dramatic impact.

Dickens presents Scrooge as a solitary, isolated and grumpy man. He uses a simile to describe him as ‘solitary as an oyster’.   Oysters are compact, enclosed and have calcified shells, relating well...