In Chapter 1 of Book Three of A Tale of Two Cities, comment upon the repetition of the word "ghost" in the following quote.So strangley clouded were these refinements by the prison manners and...

In Chapter 1 of Book Three of A Tale of Two Cities, comment upon the repetition of the word "ghost" in the following quote.

So strangley clouded were these refinements by the prison manners and gloom, so spectral did they become in the inappropriate squalor and mistery through which they were seen that Charles Darnay seemed to stand in a company of the dead. Ghosts all! The ghost of beauty, the ghost of stateliness, the ghost of elegance, the ghost of pride, the ghost of frivolity, the ghost of wit, the ghost of youth, the ghost of age, all waiting their dismissal from the desolate shore, all turning on him eyes that were changed by the dead they had died coming here.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remember the context of this excellent quote. Charles Darnay has been arrested and escorted to a prison where he is taken in to a room where there are already a number of different prisoners of all ages and of both gender. What Charles Darnay finds so shocking about them, however, is that they appear to display a level of good manners and breeding that is completely different from that which is normally associated with prisoners. The repetition of the word "ghosts" actually functions as a kind of foreshadowing, as, to Darnay's surprised and exhausted gaze, these characters appear as spectres. However, what is important to realise that they will soon die, thanks to the Revolution and its attempt to cleanse France of all aristocrats. The quote specifies that they have been "changed by the death they had died in coming there," which clearly indicates that they in a sense have already died, and will die in reality soon because of the fate that awaits them.

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