A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

1457 Words Apr 8th, 2015 6 Pages
The excerpt from the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens at the beginning of the final chapter, “The Footsteps Die Out Forever” describes prisoners being wheeled the iconic Guillotine which took several lives throughout the French Revolution. The purpose of the passage is to convey the darkness of the time through describing the cycle of oppression and the horrors occurring at the time. However, in lieu of this, it also provides a message of hope through describing the nobility that the character Sydney Carton carries as he is brought to the Guillotine and in doing so, brings about his redemption right before his death.
The passage opens up immediately setting the mood and tone of the text: “Along the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh.”(line 1). The reader will pick up on the hopeless and absolute tone conveyed by the alliteration of “hollow and harsh” enforcing and drawing attention to the serious nature of what has happened in the Revolution with the constant wheeling of prisoners to “La Guillotine.” The “death carts” refer to the tumbrils serving as vessels carrying the prisoners to their death, their severity conveyed in their movement being described as a “rumble” which implies a great amount of noise. The cycle of oppression is first introduced in the line, “Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms.” (line 5-6). This line basically illustrates the way that crime…
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