Welcome to The Hard Times
Charles Dickens

Issue Number: CD-001

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Mr Dickens and the Metaphor

'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'.

Mr Dickens also uses METAPHORS. These are ways of describing people or things by saying they ARE something else. These are harder to see than similes but they are very effective ways of describing for the reader.

Mr Dickens tell us that Scrooge is a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone. We know he isn't; we know he owns his own company in the City. To say that Scrooge is this helps the reader understand just how mean and hard Scrooge is. He emphasises this with the metaphor 'a frosty rime was on his head' The frost doesn't settle upon anyone's head (unless they're dead) but here Mr Dickens is telling us again how cold and miserable and indeed, how deathly, Scrooge is.


Think of a metaphor for the sun, the moon, your Mum, your best friend or the person you hate most in the world. Open Word to complete the exercise and save your work.

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