A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities Politics Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Paragraph)
"How goes the Republic?"
"You mean the Guillotine. Not ill. Sixty-three to-day. We shall mount to a hundred soon." (3.9.67)
The conversations of the crowd explain the sudden corruption of revolutionary zeal better than any of the main characters ever do. Once the Republic becomes synonymous with the guillotine, things can’t really be headed in a very good direction.
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?
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 that eventually adds up to Carton’s death.