How is Scrooge in A Christmas Carol an outsider?  

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scrooge is an outsider because is so incredibly cold and heartless. He has spent a long time being rude to strangers, being pitiless to anyone with whom he does business, and refusing attempts to reach out to him by those few who actually care for him. Consequently, no one, except his nephew Fred, tries with him any more. In fact, even total strangers recognize that he is not the kind of person that one stops to ask for directions or the time. The narrator says,

Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, "My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?" No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o'clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge.

No one is ever glad to see Scrooge. No one ever asks him over or asks after his health. Neither do the destitute even try to ask him for a penny. Apparently all—men, women, and children, the high and the low, those who require assistance, and those who need nothing more than directions—understand that Scrooge is awful, and so they leave him alone.

Even the blind men's dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, "No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!"

This could be an exaggeration, but it certainly drives the point home. Scrooge is so recognizably terrible that even seeing eye dogs guide their blind masters away from him.

litgeek2015 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ebenezer Scrooge is an outsidee for a few reasons, all of which are his own doing.

  • He is not a friendly person and as a result, he has no friends. While Bob Cratchit is the closet thing to a friend that he has, Scrooge is not Cratchit's friend.
  • He cares more about his money than anything else, which isolates him from others. This obsessions simply drives people away and prevents him from forming any close relationships. It also prevents him from having any hobbies or other interests, which makes it even more difficult for him to be involved with anyone or anything.
  • His "bah humbug!" attitude during Christmas makes him an outsider because he can't understand what everyone else is happy about or would want to celebrate. Where others can see the joy in the season, he cannot. Where others like, like Bob and Fred, are grateful for time with their families, he is not.
  • Scrooge wants nothing to do with the community in which he lives, except to get money from it. When asked to donate to charity, he openly expresses his disdain for those who need it. He lacks empathy and understanding for those around him, which causes him to be an outsider. 
  • He shows no concern or affection for those who actually do care about him, so he could be part of the group, but refuses. When his nephew, Fred, invited him for Christmas dinner he turns him down. When Bob Cratchit is kind to him, he only retorts with irritation and condescension.