Mr Dickens and the Simile
'Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand
at the grind- stone, 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, shriveled
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 dogdays; and didn't thaw
it one degree at Christmas.'
is when a writer uses a comparison between two things to describe someone
Similes use the words 'AS' and 'LIKE' in them. So you could have: 'the
sun is as yellow as a daffodil' or the 'sun is as yellow as lemon.' Both
are different shades of yellow and we know exactly what the writer thinks
of the weather by the description.
It's the same with 'the moon is like a piece of tissue paper' or the 'moon
is like a cheddar cheese'. We know what the writer is describing with
Mr Dickens has told us here that Scrooge is 'hard
and sharp as flint' and 'solitary as
Once we have used the dictionary, Thesaurus or our teachers to find out
what the vocabulary means if we're not sure, then we know that Scrooge is
'as hard and sharp' as a very sharp, cold stone which was used to strike
a spark before matches were invented. We know he is lonely and secretive
and as hard to open up 'as an oyster'. We might also realise that there
may be a pearl inside him which is, of course, what happens at the end of
the story. Mr Dickens is helping us to feel that not all is bad with Scrooge.
- Download the following word document.
- Highlight all the similes based on the information which you have
- Save your work.
- Return to The Hard Times (Activity 4).
- Download the Simile Answer document.
- Print out your work and the answer document.