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A Christmas Carol Analysis: Themes of Compassion

The Who & The What #007

A Christmas Carol Analysis: Themes of Compassion

Watch my A Christmas Carol analysis in this deep-dive video essay, which explores the screenplay’s character development and themes of compassion.

A Christmas Carol Analysis Ghost of Christmas Present

The 1951 adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens explores the story’s themes of compassion in reference to the character development of its protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Scrooge is a bitter businessman who hates Christmas and everything related to it. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by three spirits who take him on a journey that shows him the error of his ways.

Scrooge’s character flaw is evident from the beginning of the screenplay in numerous different ways.

He shows his incompassionate nature towards a poor man who owes him money and mistreats his employees. His harsh nature is even highlighted by the screenplay’s description of the counting-house he operates.

Ghost of Christmas Present A Christmas Carol Analysis

As the story progresses, the audience witnesses Scrooge’s backstory. They realise that his lack of exposure to love and compassion in his childhood may have contributed to his cold demeanour, which helps to create a sense of empathy towards him.

The script’s structure prompts Scrooge’s character development, which unfolds in five acts and ultimately confronts him with the problems of his past, present and future.

Dickens used the original tale to reflect the socio-economic state of Victorian England during the Industrial Revolution and expresses a strong thematic statement about society’s need for compassion. 

A Christmas Carol Ending Scrooge Happy

To see A Christmas Carol analysis from a professional screenplay consultant, the video essay above is a must-watch.

Learn how the story’s theme is interwoven through the primary characters and gain a deeper understanding of the screenwriting craft. 

Click the button below to check out the rest of my video essay series.

Nick Fore Script Doctor / Script Consultant

Nick Fore is an experienced script consultant who reads screenplays for the British Film Institute.


He has written comprehensive coverage on over 1,000 scripts and has helped screenwriters get their work into development with production companies such as Imagine Entertainment and Screen Ireland. 

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