You can dismiss it as sentimental pap if you like, but there is a reason we are entertained, drawn in and even challenged by Ebenezer Scrooge’s existential crisis. Our world may not have much in common with Victorian England, but we have a great deal in common with Scrooge.
Will Durant, paraphrasing Aristotle, wrote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The people around us can never fully know our immense internal complexity—not the way we know it about ourselves. At the same time, they see and hear what we say and do in a way that we are unable to.