Childrens' book philosophy 8: Platonic division in "A Christmas Carol"

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It was a Game called Yes and No, where Scrooge's nephew had to think of something, and the rest must find out what; he only answering to their questions yes or no, as the case was. The brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed, elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal, a live animal, rather a disagreeable animal, a savage animal, an animal that growled and grunted sometimes, and talked sometimes, and lived in London, and walked about the streets, and wasn't made a show of, and wasn't led by anybody, and didn't live in a menagerie, and was never killed in a market, and was not a horse, or an ass, or a cow, or a bull, or a tiger, or a dog, or a pig, or a cat, or a bear. At every fresh question that was put to him, this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter; and was so inexpressibly tickled, that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp. At last the plump sister, falling into a similar state, cried out:

``I have found it out! I know what it is, Fred! I know what it is!''

``What is it?'' cried Fred.

``It's your Uncle Scro-o-o-o-oge!''

Which it certainly was. Admiration was the universal sentiment, though some objected that the reply to ``Is it a bear?'' ought to have been ``Yes;'' inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr Scrooge, supposing they had ever had any tendency that way.


"A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens

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