Passage Analysis of Tale of Two Cities

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This passage taken from Book 1 Chapter 5, describes the scramble after a wine cask breaks outside Defarge’s wine shop. This chapter opens the novel’s view of Paris and acts as a convincing representation of the peasants’ hunger to end their suffering. In this passage, Charles Dickens uses irony, sarcasm, and anaphora to refer to the desperate quality of the people’s hunger for food, as well as, freedom for suffering. Chapter 5 introduces themes that involve extreme misery and filth, in the dark and toxic atmosphere of France. The “red wine” obviously symbolizes spilled blood. The French are so eager that “All the people within reach had suspended their business …to run to the spot” and drink the wine. With the crowd’s eagerness for the wine Dickens portrays them as wine-thirsty and blood-thirsty. Dickens demonstrates sarcasm and makes fun of the French when describing the peasants to be “Licking, and even champing the moister wine-rotted fragments with eager relish” Dickens uses this to show that the peasants will do anything to prevail, even if those acts are humiliating the result of this leads to revolting against their own government. The peasants are so hungry and thirsty that in their eager haste to drink the wine “It had stained many hands, too and many faces, and many naked feet...” The hands are stained because they have resorted to scooping wine out of the dirt, illustrating how dire their situation is. In this quote the narrator describes those people as desperate and exhausted from many years of desperation and hunger. The oppressed peasants are not only physically starved but are also blood-thirsty for justice and freedom from misery. Through this Dickens foreshadows to show the lengths to which the peasants will do in desperation. It also foreshadows the rage that will lead the French to revolting. The emphasis on the idea of staining and scrawling which are dramatic words that also refers to pain and suffering. The smearing from the wine on the...
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