Into the Cannon’s Mouth: Week 18

Quite why Dickens should introduce a son and have him die, is difficult to understand unless he is trying to show sympathy with his female readers. With a 51% mortality in children under five in London and a one in sixty chance of dying in childbirth is he conveying an unspoken message saying ‘I know it is hard but this is what our life brings and we must bear it no matter how painful it might be. Consume your sorrow, don’t let it consume you.’ I would like to think so.

Having pulled all his “creatures of this chronicle” together to connect the Golden Thread from them to the Lefarges, we vault from Lucie’s fancy of of echoes into the fury of Sainte Antoine.

The district of Sainte Antoine is named for the patron saint of lost things and lost souls. The lost souls, not having been found, are finding themselves, taking things into their own hands and the thing they want most is the Bastille.

Lefarge’s search through Manette’s cell is somewhat strange. After finding  the shoemakers name carved on the wall he smashes up a table and stool  and burns them. When Miss Pross and Jarvis chop up the bench  Dickens makes them look criminal yet he makes no comment about Lefarge.

The description of the cell doesn’t make much sense. If the point of the curtain wall was to deprive a prisoner of direct light and make it uncomfortable why have a fireplace which would suggest consideration for the inmate. Having to stoop and twist his head to see the moon Manette wouldn’t see much of it,  much less cover it up with twenty lines.


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