Tale Of Two Cities Water Motif Essay

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“A Tale of Two Cities”, a famous historical fiction novel written by renowned English author Charles Dickens brings the reader to the late seventeen hundreds, taking place between the cities of London and Paris. Along the course of the story Dickens uses elements of literature and motifs to grasp the reader and emphasize situations. Dickens’ use of motifs help highlight character qualities, and establish the mood or setting of the story. His use of water throughout the story aids the reader in understanding and seeing where there is change or intense feelings. Water symbolizes change, rebirth, or can foreshadow future events. Dickens’ use of the water motif greatly enhances the story and aids the reader’s understanding of when change occurs. …show more content…

At the end of chapter seven in book the second, Darnay’s uncle the Marquis is carelessly riding his carriage through St. Antione. Whilst veering around a street corner the carriage strikes and kills a young child , the Marquis thinking nothing of it. “The fountain was a little removed; for the street opened, where it was, into a space some twelve yards square… ‘Killed!’ shrieked the man… ‘Dead!’”(Dickens 99). This specific scene shows Gaspard’s son being killed by Darnay’s uncle right next to a fountain. This accident is the cause for the Marquis’ later murder and Darnay becoming the Marquis, but it also shows the use of water representing rebirth and renewal in the story. The child dying next to the fountain shows innocence; the child is being freed from his life of misery, tragic but almost better than having to suffer. This example shows the reality, the setting, and the gruesomeness of France at the time. It puts the reader into the situation and the use of the fountain shows the innocent nature of the child and the change that …show more content…

This example comes from the end of chapter twenty one in book the second. The people have successfully stormed the Bastille and freed its prisoners, a sign for the beginning of change. The motif is used to characterize the mob of people after their victory. “The sea of black and threatening waters, and of destructive upheaving of wave against wave, whose depths were yet unfathomed and whose forces were yet unknown. The remorseless sea of turbulently swaying shapes, voices of vengeance, and faces hardened in the furnaces of suffering until the touch of pity could make no mark on them.”(Dickens 200). The purpose of the motif is to symbolize the mob that is the French people. The Storming of the Bastille is a turning point in the start of the French revolution. This is a great example of water symbolism, water representing change and the actions and beliefs of the peasants changing. The example of the mob as a black and threatening sea is great symbolism as well as great imagery, allowing the reader to see the crowd moving like waves. This example of the water motif at the end of book the second leads up to a theme in book the third ‘the Track of the Storm’. This example sets the reader up for later events and shows the start of the wrath that is to come in book the

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