Scrooge Awakes

""Scrooge Awakes," vignette for "Stave 5. The End of It" by Sol Eytinge, Jr., 6.5 cm high by 9.2 cm wide. The fifth vignette for the Diamond Edition of Dickens's A Christmas Carol in Prose: being a ghost story of Christmas (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1869), top, page 103. Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL.]

The subject of the first illustration in Stave 5, "The End of It," is Scrooge's epiphany on Christmas morning. The scene "Scrooge Awakes," vignette for "Stave V. The End of It" (top, p. 103), again is set in Ebenezer Scrooge's bedroom, but with curtains on the window, a city vista without — and a total absence of apparitions, phantoms, spirits, and ghosts. In terms of mood, too, "Scrooge Awakes" is a contrast to the previous vignette, "Death's Dominion," in that, although set in the same room, its furnishings are seen from a different perspective, so that the bed on which Scrooge saw himself laid out for burial is now separated from the window by a very large chair. Hopping about on one foot like an adolescent, Scrooge attempts to put on a sock. The bedroom, too, exhibits an adolescent disorder, with an overturned chair and clothing strewn on the floor. Scrooge, his suspenders hanging down, seems far more animated as he laughs at the presence of his window- and bed-curtains — and of himself. Since he has haphazardly dressed himself and is now struggling with his stockings, this is likely the moment realised:

"I don't know what to do!" cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. "I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!" [Stave 5, "The End of It"]

The large chair outlines Scrooge's profile as if it were the newly risen sun, and Scrooge, limber and smiling, seems utterly rejuvenated. Eytinge, having read the text carefully here, does not have Scrooge shout his seasonal greetings out the window.

Reference

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol in Prose: being a ghost story of Christmas, il. Sol Eytinge, Junior. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1869.

Hearne, Michael Patrick, ed. The Annotated Christmas Carol. New York: Avenel, 1989.


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Last modified 3 January 2011