- ‘I am as light as a feather‘ is a quotation from A Christmas Carol (Stave 5).
- 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 quotation is said by Ebenezer Scrooge towards the end of A Christmas Carol. After emerging from a night when he is visited by the spirits of his former business partner, Jacob Marley and three ghosts, Scrooge is relieved to wake and find his nightmare is over, and emerges with a newly found passion for life and resolve to do good. He describes himself as light as a feather, showing his joyous side.
This comparison (known in literature as a simile) of being light as a feather is a complete contrast to the start of the story, when we saw Scrooge being described as hard and sharp as flint. Flint is a dark heavy rock used by Dickens to reflect Scrooge’s meaner side. After becoming a reformed person a feather represents the opposite characteristics, such as its harmless qualiltes.
This is an example of the figurative language Charles Dickens uses in his works, here using a plethora of similes in this passage from Stave 5 of A Christmas Carol to show how happy Scrooge is. The use of similes helps an author to strengthen a description, and for the reader it helps to better visualize the scene in their heads.
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 a 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 meanness and the impact it has on others.
Taken from the following passage in Stave 5 (The End Of It) of A Christmas Carol:
He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions, that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears.
“They are not torn down,” cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms, “they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here—I am here—the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will!”
His hands were busy with his garments all this time; turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.
“I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!
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