Charles Dickens is one of Britain’s most popular writers. Examine ‘ A Christmas Carol’ and how Dickens uses language and different techniques in the novel to bring people and places to life. In this essay I am going to examine one of the world’s best writers, Charles Dickens. I am going to explore how Dickens uses language and different techniques in the novel to bring people and places to life. Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812, the son of a clerk in the Navy pay office. Dickens’ first novel was published when he was only 25. This was the first part in a serialisation called ‘The Pickwick Papers’ the series was extremely successfully and financially very beneficial.
Dickens then went on to write ‘ Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and the Old curiosity Shop’ which were all completed by 1841. And in 1843 he wrote his most famous novel ‘ A Christmas Carol’. Dickens is such a popular author because people find his stories exciting and gripping. Dickens creates memorable characters and places, he does this using many techniques such as personification, clustering of words and using similes, which is all evident in the first passage I will examine.
In the passage where it describes the street and the cold, Dickens uses many techniques but concentrates on personification, sentence length and senses. He does this by using long sentences describing the shops and brings things to life when he says ‘The ancient tower of a church, whose gruff old bell was always peeping slyly down at Scrooge.’ He also uses personification on the ice because he mentioned’ misanthrope ice’ which means unfriendly. He used senses like when he wrote ‘berries crackled’ to create a cold effect as if the berries were frozen over. All of these are packed into long descriptive sentences, so to break it up Dickens used a short four-word sentence that is ‘The cold became intense.’ to break up the description and to keep the excitement and suspense there. This also places enthuses on the intense cold which is the focus of his description.
In the next passage where Dickens is describing Scrooge he mainly focuses on clustering of adjectives but also used a few similes to make his writing more engrossing. Dickens uses clustering of adjectives to describe Scrooge as a cold, tight, mean and selfish man. For example it uses the words, A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching covetous old sinner!’ which are all extremely nasty words if you are describing a person. He uses these words because he is lonely and after Jacob Marley died he felt no need or friends. Dickens uses similes in this passage to compare objects to Scrooges feelings, such as to describe his loneliness, he uses, ‘solitary as an oyster’ because oysters are trapped onside their shells waiting to come out just like Scrooge.
The final passage I am going to explore is describing the weather. Dickens uses a lot of language techniques such as clustering of adjectives, long detailed sentences and similes. He uses personification to bring the weather alive when he wrote ‘biting weather’, he writes this but weather can not bite, this is a good word to use because when you get cold you can not feel your fingers and you feel like someone is pinching you or biting you. Dickens always uses similes in the best way as this time he wrote ‘neighbouring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air.’ Which brings the picture into your mind that there is a thick fog where you only just see the outlines of the buildings and the air seemed brown as it mixed with the brick. He uses long sentences in this passage followed by a short one to break up the text and give the reader a bit of a rest and to create more atmospheres in the book.
In conclusion to my essay, I think that Dickens’ writing techniques, which help bring his settings and characters to life. He varies the sentence lengths and uses similes, onomatopoeia, personification, clustering of words, senses and all these work well in his text. Dickens was the best writer of his time because he used so many interesting words and phrases and made all his books the best read.