A Tale of Two Cities
How we cite our quotes:
It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history (1.1.4).
Dickens foreshadows the events of history with a heavy hand. Does this help to make revolution seem fated or inevitable?
The time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones, and when the stain of it would be red upon many there. (1.5.5)
The blurring between wine and blood in this text allows both to function interchangeably as liquids for which the citizens of France lust. Like wine, the blood which spills in the streets intoxicates the populace.
"To be registered, as doomed to destruction," returned Defarge.
[…] "The chateau, and all the race?" inquired the first.
"The chateau and all the race," returned Defarge. "Extermination." (2.15.63-67)
"Extermination" becomes a pretty sweeping term. It’s easy enough to justify violence against the occupants of a chateau…but the extermination of a race?
That’s hard to justify at all – as Dickens makes clear.