Explain how the beginning of this chapter foreshadows the end in A Tale of Two Cities.It was a heavy mass of building, that chateau of Monsieur the Marquis, with a large stone courtyard before it,...

Explain how the beginning of this chapter foreshadows the end in A Tale of Two Cities.

It was a heavy mass of building, that chateau of Monsieur the Marquis, with a large stone courtyard before it, and two stone sweeps of staircase meeting in a stone terrace before the principal door. A stony business altogether, with heavy stone balustrades, and stone urns, and stone flowers, and stone faces of men, and stone heads of lions, in all directions. As if the Gorgon's head had surveyed it, when it was finished, two centuries ago.

Ending passage:

The Gorgon had surveyed the building again in the night, and had added the one stone face wanting; the stone face for which it had waited through about two hundred years.

It lay back on the pillow of Monsieur the Marquis. It was like a fine mask, suddenly startled, made angry, and petrified. Driven home into the heart of the stone figure attached to it, was a knife. Round its hilt was a frill of paper, on which was scrawled:

"Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from Jacques."




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

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You are right to identify the element of foreshadowing in this excellent chapter, which is appropriately entitled "The Gorgon's Head" and is Chapter Nine from Book II of this Dickensian classic. Of course, the allusion is to the Gorgon from Greek Mythology, that could turn anything it looked at to stone. However, in this chapter, the stoniness of the chateau likewise symbolises the stoniness in the heart of Monsieur the Marquis and his emotional inability to see the poverty or connect with the plight of the peasants that he abuses and exploits so readily, as indicated by his complete lack of feeling for the peasant boy that he had killed in his carriage. His death, at the end of the chapter, is described as an inevitable process, as the Gorgon has returned and looked at the chateau again, adding a "stone face for which it had waited through about two hundred years." Yet, at the same time, although the death of Monsieur the Marquis is foreshadowed by the reference to stone at the beginning of the chapter, this event also foreshadows the revolution and the rise of the working class to overthrow the ruling aristocracy for their greed and abuse.

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