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A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

Politics Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

Along the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrils carry the day's wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are fused in the one realisation, Guillotine. (3.15.1)

Dickens carries the metaphor likening wine to blood through the entire course of the novel. Are the "devouring and insatiate Monsters" here superhuman forces or the grasping, drunk crowd in Saint Antoine at the beginning of the novel?

Quote #8

The ministers of Sainte Guillotine are robed and ready. Crash!--A head is held up, and the knitting-women who scarcely lifted their eyes to look at it a moment ago when it could think and speak, count One. (3.15.23)

The mass execution of the innocent and the guilty becomes a spectacle. As readers, we anticipate and dread the counting of heads which eventually adds up to Carton’s death.

Quote #9

I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. (3.15.46)

Sydney’s last thoughts become a vision of more then just new life for Lucie and her family: they offer up home for a new political future for France, as well.

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