What is the internal conflict Scrooge faces from his past in the second stave of A Christmas Carol? How can it be an internal conflict, if other people are involved?
An internal conflict is struggle a person has within him or herself. In this case, Scrooge struggles throughout most of the book with accepting who he has become. In Stave 2, he sees shadows of things that have been, events from his past that lead him to regret. An internal conflict can be caused by other people’s actions. It can be a difficult decision or a fear.
Scrooge sees himself as a boy. He struggles with this, to the point of tears, because he remembers being lonely and feels sorry for himself. Yet Scrooge does not want to feel sorry for anyone, including his child self.
“I wish,” Scrooge muttered, putting his hand in his pocket, and looking about him, after drying his eyes with his cuff: “but it's too late now.” (Stave 2, p. 21)
Here Scrooge struggles because he wishes he had treated the boy he saw that day differently. He is trying to maintain his emotions.
When Scrooge sees himself with Belle, his former fiancé, he also has an internal conflict. At the time, he had to decide whether to let her go or not. He listens to his former self make excuses.
“This is the even-handed dealing of the world!” he said. “There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth!” (Stave 2, p. 25)
Scrooge gets upset, no longer wanting to watch anything else. He has been feeling more positive about the visions since watching the fun he used to have with Fezzywig. Now he has to face the harsh reality of who he is.