A/L English Literature Made Easy - Novel :
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Chapter 8 - Monseigneur in the country
The scene in which the Marquis comes to his mansion is picturesquely
presented. In the contrasting picture of the chateau and the poor
condition of the village. The village church, windmill and the prison
are prominent features.
The starving villagers flocking round the carriage and road-mender
informing the Marquis about a man hiding under the Marquis' carriage
clinging on to it and he jumped off and ran away. That is another
poignant scene. The Marquis asked the Postmaster Gabelle to arrest the
man not paying heed to all the requests made by the poor, helpless
village folk. Monseiur Charles has not arrived yet.
The description of the countryside, the poverty stricken people and
the roadmender's latest news of the man who escaped emphasises the
trauma experienced by the poor.
Chapter 9 - The Gorgon's Head
Most of the things and the house itself of the Marquis were all made
of stone and epitomize a Gorgon's Head. When Charles Darnay arrived, the
Marquis wanted to know whether he knew a doctor and his daughter and
having got a positive reply from Darnay the Marquis went to bed but
never to get up alive.
A knife had run through his heart and there was a note visible on the
handle of the knife. "Drive him fast to his tomb" from Jaques. The
result of the indifference shown at the killing of Gaspard's child
signalling the arrival of the French Revolution.
Chapter 10 - Two promises
Chales Darnay establishing himself as a teacher and a translator of
French helping the undergraduates. Having exposed his extreme love for
Lucy Manette to her father Dr. Manette and promising to keep the father
and daughter together thus wins the favour of Dr. Manette. The ironic
situation here is that Dr. Manette's going to have relationship with a
family he detested.
Chapter 11 - A
Mr. Stryver hoping to marry Miss Lucie Manette urges Carton to marry
a landlady who could look after him, being aware of Carton's 'Superior
legal mind' and his help essential for Mr. Stryver. But Carton is aware
of Stryver's attitudes.
In chapter 10 Darnay telling Dr. Manette about Lucie and in chapter
eleven Mr. Stryver and Carton touching on the same topic. Darnay's
behaviour and attitudes anticipating in a timid manner, with
consideration for the persons concerned, Stryver presumes that he is
doing a favour to Lucie Manette by making his proposal.
Chapter 12 - The fellow of delicacy
Sydney Carton promptly declares his love for Lucie and requests her
to keep it a secret saying that he would even sacrifice his own life for
her or for any other person dear and near to her. The irony is Stryver
saying that Carton is sans the 'Delicacy of feeling'. But Carton's love
remains sincere to the end.
The title itself is significant and ironical. It seems to be a
sarcastic statement made by Stryver at Carton, for he thought and
imagined high of himself and his status.