Saturday, January 07, 2006

Book the Third - Chap. 1-7

As promised, the Book the Third: The Track of a Storm races compared to the other books. Dickens does a lot of set up in his writing and tends to have a gallup to the finish, which makes the end of his books often the most enjoyable and readable parts. It also makes discussion seem a bit excessive and belaboring the point sometimes. So we won't do as much for this part. Just sit back, read, and enjoy the master as he weaves the final strands of his wild tale together...

Discussion Points/Questions

Chapter One

Open for discussion. I would simply ask the reader to recall in this, and every chapter following, how nearly every element that Dickens employs henceforth has been in some way shaded or foreshadowed in theme or in content. This journey ought to seem very similar to Lorry's, in Book One. Aye.

Chapter Two

Open for discussion. Defarge is a bit of a complex character; a little pitiable, really.

Chapter Three

Also open for discussion. What an awesome scene, though - Lucie Manette meeting Mme. Defarge. I shudder just thinking about it! God, that woman is despicable...

Chapter Four

1) The following quote it worth talking about: "For the first time the Doctor felt, now, that his suffering was strength and power." (p. 268) Kind of obvious: strength in suffering. There's a thread of martyrdom and Christ-like love that has begun earlier, and will begin to be stitched more heavily throughout the remaining chapters.

2) Who was the wife of the King who Dickens mentions having been killed? (p. 271 - mere trivia) Marie A.

3) Also worth discussion: The guillotine "was the sign of the regeneration of the human race. It superceded the Cross." (p 271) Hrm. Heresy, blasphemy, it shows the degredation of the French people. Yet, Dickens, the genius, is also hinting ironically at something... you'll see.

Chapter Five

1) Anything significant about the time of day that Lucie holds vigil beneath her husband's window? 3 o'clock hour - hour of the Passion.

2) Any guesses as to who is Lorry's mysterious visitor at the chapter's end? (p. 278)I'm not telling... but we find out in the next section.

Chapter Six

1) Any comments on this quote? "[Dr. Manette] happy in the return he had made [Lucie], he was recompensed for his suffering, he was proud of his strength... [saying]'I have saved him.'" It wasn't quite enough. Though I don't think Dickens means a sinful pride; yet he seems to say that eighteen years of hellish imprisonment isn't suffering enough. What more is there?

Chapter Seven

BONUS: Dickens was an actor, and employed many very dramatic techniques in his writing. The drama of this chapter is unmatched, except at the book's finale. There is a dramatic usage in this chapter of an element from very much earlier on in the book - a symbolic element, turned literal. Identify the moment of drama, and the corresponding foreshadowed element of story, and win the prize (illud est, my respect). Boo. No guesses yet, eh? I'll spoil it. The answer is footsteps. The footsteps at the house in London have finally become literal, on the stair of the French house where the family holds vigil.



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