Tale of Two Cities Setting Essay

Topics: A Tale of Two Cities, Light, Charles Dickens Pages: 2 (908 words) Published: May 4, 2013
Tale of Two Cities Setting Essay
The Garret, built to be a depository for firewood and the like, was dim and dark…” (pg 47) This setting describes an attic in the novel The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The settings in this book play an important role in expressing all the emotions of the plot. The way Charles Dickens writes, and the type of diction he uses in his descriptions, explains the mood and tone, foreshadows future events, and symbolizes crucial objects. The settings of different scenes set the mood and tone of the scene. When two characters first meet – Mr. Lorry and Miss Manette – Mr. Lorry walks into a dark, slightly lit, room at the Dover Inn. “The obscurity was so difficult to penetrate that Mr. Lorry, picking his way over the well-worn Turkey carpet, suppose Miss Manette to be, for the moment, in some adjacent room, until, having got past the two tall candles, he saw, standing to receive him by the table between them and the fire, a young lady of not more than seventeen, in a riding-cloak and still holding her straw travelling-hat by its ribbon in her hand.” (pg 25) Charles Dickens uses the connotations of the word ‘obscurity’ instead of using the word ‘dark’ to communicate to the reader that the mood of the scene is concealing. Also, while describing the furniture in the sparsely lit room, Charles Dickens writes, “It was a large, dark room, furnished in a funereal manner with black horsehair, and loaded with heavy dark tables.” (pg 25) The word ‘funereal’ indicates that the tone of the scene is dark and melancholy. A couple chapters later, in a different scene, Mr. Lorry and Miss Manette visit her father up in an attic at the top of a wine shop. On the way up, “.. all the spoilt, sickly vapors seemed to crawl in.” (pg 44) Dickens’ use of alliteration and personification really imparts the message that this setting is not a healthy place. ‘Crawl’ connotates some stealth that helps the creepiness of the tone be present just like a...
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