Once again, I’d like to thank Halloween week for giving me some background in preparation for drawing graveyards and tombstones. (Though I’ve done better work in this respect.) My specter did not come out quite as I had hoped, but it will do, and I think it’s OK that it has a deformed hand.
This is based on an image I found in a google search and Pinterest, but I took Scrooge out and I thought the spirit was too thin – I really like my Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come in big billowy robes, so I expanded on the model. (I do think his head is too pointy, though.)
This chapter was difficult, because there are so many moments where Scrooge is learning something about what his decisions will lead to when it comes to his mortality and legacy. This particular scene, although frightening, has always bugged me, because I feel like it was put in for the sole purpose of frightening. We all die, and change or not so will Scrooge.
The point, of course, is that he will die alone with no one lamenting him – which he now appreciates as not a good way to go – and leaving nothing but misery behind, except in the case of the debtor who cannot pay him back. For them, there is joy.
Honestly, though, I think he (and we) got the point between the Old Joe scene and the one where Scrooge confronts his own corpse with the rats scratching at the door.
“Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?” Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood. “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!” The Spirit was immovable as ever. Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, EBENEZER SCROOGE. “Am I that man who lay upon the bed?” he cried, upon his knees. The finger pointed from the grave to him, and back again. “No, Spirit! Oh no, no!” The finger still was there. “Spirit!” he cried, tight clutching at its robe, “hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!”