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As Charles Darnay embarks on his valiant journey to Paris to try and save his former servant, Gabelle, he very quickly realises that the French Revolution has unleashed a situation characterised by chaos and insecurity. This is of course reflected in the new laws that have been passed, completely reversing the position of power that aristocrats formerly enjoyed and criminalising them. This is of course illustrated when Darnay, with his escort, reaches the town of Beauvais and is greeted by a crowd baying for his death. Darnay learns that a decree for seeling the property of emigrants has been passed, and that this is one of many, as the postmaster tells him:
Everybody says it is but one of several, and that there will be others--if there are not already--banishing all emigrants, and condemning all to death who return. That is what he meant when he said your life was not your own.
Thus Darnay learns that he is entering a radically different country from the France that he formerly knew, and that his position as an emigrant placed him in immense danger.
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