Friday, July 02, 2021

An onomatopetic palindrome of words in Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol"

When Ebenezer Scrooge wakes up after his visits from the three Ghosts in Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol", he's excited about changing his life, but has lost track of time: "I don't know what day of the month it is! [...] I don't know how long I've been among the Spirits." Before he finds out it's Christmas morning, he hears "the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard". Then, as with the metrical prose at the end of "Martin Chuzzlewit", Dickens depicts the emotion with language that draws attention to itself – a palindrome of onomatopoetic words: "Clash, clang, hammer, ding, dong, bell. Bell, dong, ding, hammer, clang, clash!" (Andrew Shields, #111words, 2 July 2021)
Scrooge asks a boy what day it is.

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