In the novel, A Christmas Carol, what is Scrooge's external conflict?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

External conflict in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol exists due to Scrooge’s love of money, which he places above personal relationships. These conflicts manifested throughout his personal life leaving him a bitter, lonely man. Scrooge treats people in his life with distain using his miserly ways as a shield for his feelings therefore the external conflict is between Scrooge and his fellow man.

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?”

One example is when his nephew stops to wish him a Merry Christmas; they have a confrontation instead of a conversation. Scrooge treats his employee, Bob Cratchit cruelly, he loses the love of his life, and lives a solitary life so that he does not have to interact with people including taking his meals alone in a tavern. When the gentlemen come to his counting house to ask for a contribution for the poor, Scrooge says,

It's not my business,'' Scrooge returned. "It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!"