What do we learn about Scrooge's home life when Fan visits him at school in A Christmas Carol?

We learn from Fan's visit that Scrooge had a very unhappy home life when he was growing up. Whereas the other boys at his school have all gone home for Christmas, young Scrooge is stuck there all alone. This indicates that Scrooge's father is a cold and unpleasant man who doesn't have much time for his son. However, in letting Scrooge home for the holidays, his father appears to have changed.

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What kind of man would keep his son at school for Christmas while all the other boys are allowed home for the holidays? The answer is Ebenezer Scrooge's father. For reasons we cannot begin to fathom, he thinks it acceptable for his son to spend Christmas all alone in a cold, miserable school while all the other boys are at home, having fun with their families. In common with many adult authority figures in Dickens, Scrooge's dad is a cold, heartless individual with no time for children, not even his own.

And yet, when Ebenezer's beloved sister Fan turns up, it appears that the old man's had a change of heart. For Fan has come to tell her brother that their father has allowed him to come home for the holidays. Mr. Scrooge's sudden about-face foreshadows his son's later remarkable transformation, when he will change from being a miserable old skinflint to the life and soul of every Christmas party.

To be sure, nothing can change the fact that Scrooge clearly had an abusive, loveless...

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