Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Question of the Week (11/5/10)

Choose one of the following questions to answer. Study for your quiz on Monday and enjoy your weekend. Don't forget to respond to a classmate's response -- unless you are the first to post.

Book the First: Recalled to Life
Chapter 1: The Period
Chapter 2: The Mail
Chapter 3: The Night Shadows
1. Discuss the theme of the likeness of people despite differences of place or time. Is this relationship useful only within the context of A Tale of Two Cities, or can it be applied to other situations?

2. How does the fear of the messenger illustrate the narrator’s idea that it is impossible to know another person? Does anything else in these opening chapters support this thought? Does anything contradict it?

Chapter 4: The Preparation
1. Write an essay reflecting on Mr. Lorry’s insistence that all of his relations are of the business type. Why could this be important as to what his character represents? How is this related to his lifelong bachelorhood? How does this reflect the Victorian Age?

2. Write an essay discussing the way Lucie Manette is portrayed as a woman in this chapter. What problems arise from this depiction? Is this a mere reflection of Victorian ideals, or is it relevant to today’s times?

Chapter 5: The Wine-Shop
1. How does this chapter foreshadow the coming revolution? Look beyond the obvious answer that equates the wine with blood. What does the single-mindedness of the crowd mean in this context? What of the desolate conditions that they live in?

2. Discuss the significance of the name “Jacques.” What do the peasants gain by addressing each other in this way? How did they come to use this term? Discuss any contemporary manifestations of this idea.

Chapter 6: The Shoemaker
1. Write an essay exploring the ways in which Dr. Manette has lost his identity. Use specific examples to show how much of his past he has forgotten.

2. Discuss the role of Lucie’s affections in helping her father remember his past. Does this present any problems in a contemporary context? How does this help to define Lucie as a character? What does this say about the role of women in Victorian society?

17 comments:

Parker said...

The events at the wine shop in chapter five foreshadow the coming revolution by showing the desperation of the crowd of people drinking the wine off the streets. All of these peasants are starving for food, but also for change. These peasants are angry at their circumstances. While they are drinking the wine off the streets the Queen and King are eating large amounts of food, probably enough to feed a crowd of ravenous peasants. The peasants want change in life style and in government. They also want blood. The peasants are enraged with how poor they are and how big the gap is between the rich and the poor. While the rich merchants and the monarchs are full and content. The peasants are starving and miserable. The crowd is very single minded and only sees one resolution to their problem. They don't see a way around violence. This is very dangerous for the french government, because the angry starving peasants strongly outnumber the fat and content aristocrats of french society. The desolate conditions spark this unhappiness. Peasants are sick of being dirty, ill, and starving. The peasants want change in their life style. They want food, a place to keep clean, and a comfortable place to sleep.

Haiti quilter said...

I agree with Parker. I think that how excited the people are to drink a drop of dirty wine off the streets really shows how badly they need change. The term "Jacques" refers to a person who is in support of the revolution and is working for a change. By using the term "Jacques" to adress eachother the peasents gain a sense unity and secrercy. People can feel an uprising starting to occur. It is almost liek being in a secret club. If you don't know the password you aren't invited in. It gave the peasents a feeling of power becuase they were the center of this revolution and they were teh ones who were making it happen. The term "Jacques" came from a man who was significant in starting the revolution.

Carl Tischbein said...

I think that the messenger clearly illustrates the idea that is impossible to truly know someone. We find out that the messenger is a trusted worker at Jarvis Lorry’s Bank. However, when he arrives at the carriage, he is not really trusted at first. Again, this exemplifies the fact that even if you know someone, he can’t be trusted and you never know every last bit of someone’s personality – they could have betrayed you. Another big scene which exemplifies this lack of trust can be found in the wine shop – the code word ‘Jacques’ (to indicate a revolutionary activist) is not said once, or even twice, but has to be used three times to make sure they can trust the people to talk with. These examples really just show a lack of trust in human society throughout the book, and in real life as well. Since Parker’s and Sophie’s entry are not related to mine, I would have to say that I agree with both of them: The eagerness to get at the wine shows desperation for change, while the term ‘Jacques’ also applies to a unique group of people who feel unity.

David Desaulniers said...

I agree with Carl when he says that the messenger does very clearly say the idea that you can't know a person completely. They will have secrets that none to few may know, and a personality that they may be hiding. And with rebellions being made in France the word "Jaques" is said many of time in the wine shop. The people in the wine shop really try to read people to see if there lying about being a real Jaques. This all together shows that the society at this time are all thinking of trusting no one.

Meryl said...

I agree with Parker that the scene at the wine shop is foreshadowing what is to come. People are starving for something to eat, but also for change. The fact that they are willing to drink wine out the streets, shows this. The peasants are starving for food, while the monarchs and higher social classes are living just fine with lots of food. The fact that they are willing to drink wine out of streets really shows I think, how much change they need. They have started to come up with secretive terms so show who is on with the revolution. They are getting ready to fight back and drinking wine out of the streets is a way of showing that they are ready to fight.

Parker Gardner said...

This chapter provides strong foreshadowing for what is to come and how the people of France are feeling. Not only is there direct foreshadowing when Dickens relates the wine to blood and says that soon blood will also stain the streets of the Paris, but there is also foreshadowing in the behavior of the people on the street. The people on the streets are clearly desperate, starving and united. They sprint to the spilled wine, lick the filthy streets, and aid each other to get at the wine. Their desperation, shown in the lengths they go to for a mouthful of wine portend what they can be driven to and what they might do if given the chance. Their starvation shows the terrible conditions they are living in and the need for change which someone will inevitable voice. Dickens uses the wine, drink of they wealthy, as a metaphor for the blood of the wealthy, and shows that the starving, desperate peasants are hungry for that blood of the wealth, and will stain the chins with it, through violence and revolt. I agree with Parker and Meryl that the chapter foreshadows revolution and that the people of France are hungry for change and blood.

erbear508 said...

I agree with both Parkers and Meryl, the wine in the street is a more obvious foreshadowing for the blood that will be spilled, but also this chapter shows how desperate and needy the people are. Because the people drink out of the street, it shows they are thirsty for a change. This isn't necessarily foreshadowing, but it's more a methaphor for the desperate and starved feeling the people have.

Emily said...

This chapter has many clues that the a revolution is imminent. When the wine is spilled and everyone rushes to get a sip, the vast amount of suffering is shown. If people are desperate enough to drink dirty wine off of the ground, then there could be enough drive from them to spur a revolution. The conditions show just how needy everyone is, and usually when a large group of people are living in such bad conditions, there will be an uprising, which could lead to a revolution. I agree with Erin for the above reasons.

Marlou Taenzer said...

I agree with Parker that the events in the wine shop foreshadow the imminent revolution.

When Louis XVI ascended the throne France was in the midst of a financial crisis, having a debt of over 2 billion livres. They were nearing bankruptcy. This was because of their involvement in the American Revolution and the Seven years war.People were starving, Dickens shows this in the wine shop scene with people drinking wine from the streets. They are craving food, water, and a revolution. Life inside the royal court is a completely different world from the terrible one that the middle but especially lower class are experiencing. The queen of France Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) was known for her immense spending habits, and for saying "let them eat cake" in reaction to the people demanding bread. Louis XVI (1754-1793) is often characterized as weak in character and mentally dull and spent much of his time hunting. Perhaps they were not aware of the magnitude of the problem. As life in the royal court continued as if nothing was wrong.
How a King and a Queen who were responsible for the well being of their people could let the condition of their country deteriorate to the extent it did is baffling to me. How could they have continued with their luxurious spending habits when there were people out on the streets that were starving? These are probably questions that revolutionaries and the lower and middle class asked themselves in the years before the revolution. The people are furious, they are starving, homeless, and sick. Some are hanging onto life by a thread and yet the government is not doing anything to help them.
Dickens also uses the wine to symbolize blood. The people of France are craving not only something to drink but also the blood of the upper class and monarchy.
And who can blame them?

David W. said...

I agree with Marlou and everyone else who said that the chapter about the wine spilt in the streets is foreshadowing for the inevitable revolution. As Marlou said, there was an amazing gap between the peasants living on the streets and the royalty in massive palaces who had servants serving them enough food each day to appease a large crowd of starving peasants like the one that gathers as a result of the wine pouring out over the road. It is important that this chapter was included in the book because it reminds the reader why there is a revolution brewing. The peasants that rush to the pools of wine are not acting out of choice, they are so poor and so deprived of what we would now consider to be necessities that they were acting as animals fighting to survive. Yes, they worked together to maximize how much wine was saved from trickling away and seeping into the dirt, but the way they behaved was no different than a pack of starving wolves working together to make with the hunting of their prey. What they did was act out of necessity in order to stay alive. The reason that this chapter was included in the first place is that Dickens wanted to explain just how desperate for revolution the entire country was.

sam merrens said...

Throughout Chapter 4 Jarvis Lorry insists that all relations that he has are strictly for business and that they never overlap with his personal interests. This truly represents who Jarvis Lorry is, he is so committed to his job that he gives up his personal life, or tries to ignore it. Jarvis is obviously interested in Lucy Manette's story, so he takes her across the channel and to Paris to visit her father. Jarvis Lorry is a lifelong bachelor because he is so committed to his job, just like Sargent Nicholas Angel was in Hot Fuzz. Jarvis will have to change his ways or remain lonely for the rest of his days. His behavior seems to put the Victorian days under a certain light of strict and censored composure, and Jarvis seems to be holding back a lot of his feelings. I believe that his secrets will prove to be very interesting later on.

Kate Kerin said...

After being locked in a prison for many years Dr. Manette has gone crazy and has lost his identity. He is no longer in his physical prison but he is now dealing with being locked up in he mental prison. He used to be a great doctor before he was locked away, but now he makes shoes. When asked his name he also tells people that it is "One Hundred and Five, North Tower." That is the name of the prison cell that he was kept in. I agree with Sophie’s post and that by using the term "Jacques" to it gives the revolutionaries a felling that they are doing something and that they are organized. I also agree with all the other posts about the revolution brewing, and the importance of the wine.

Oren said...

The name "Jaques" used by used by people in France during the times of the Revolution and the build up to it, was used in chapter 5 in the wine shop. The name was a sort of codeword that indicated if you supported the Revolution, and told people that you could be trusted with information. The name "Jaques" stemmed from the name "Jacobin" given to an extremely radical percent of people who strongly encouraged the revolution. In this way the people in support of the revolution created a secret network through which to communicate without the aristocracy finding out. I think that a this type of code has appeared at many points during history. To use a name as a code, and to designate support for a cause has happened at various times throughout history.
I agree with Kate and Sophie in saying that the "Jacques" net work was very organized, and I also agree with everyone about how the wine spill was very intense foreshadowing to the coming bloodshed and the revolution.

Eleanor S. said...

Many stereotypes about female appearance and behavior are evident in Lucie's charatcer. She is described as "a short, slight, pretty figure," with "a "quantity of golden hair and a pair of blue eyes" (29). Jarvis Lorry treats her with reverence. bowing and kissing her hand. Lucie Manettes's first response, when faced with the shock of Mr. Lorry's news and his plan to rescue her father, is to moan about her father's ghost and faint.
She exemplifies an ideal Victorian woman -- dainty and beautiful, needing a strong man to rescue her from her own weakness. Those personality traits are less valued in women today, but the importance of beauty is still very real.
I'm the first one to answer this question, so I have no one to respond to.

Charlie said...

foreshadowing for the revolution in chapter 5
I agree with the first Parker, when they said that everyone is desperate for food, and everyone is very angry. I think that it is clear then that something needs to happen. Everyone is upset unless they are part of the royalty. The gap between low class and upper class is so large. Peasants are drinking spilled wine out of the street. The tension is very high, and tempers are rising.

anthony said...

Sorry this is late. The events at the wine shop foreshadow the revolution in many ways. When the wine spills, everybody jumps on it immediately without thinking twice about it. They all seem to respect each other and let everyone have a turn, which shows how they are all working together and seem to understand that they need to work together to survive instead of fighting over who gets the most wine. This sets them apart from the upper class people who greedily take as much as they can with no regard for others. As Parker said, the king and queen probably have enough food to feed all of them. What this part of the book shows is that all the lower class poor people are uniting against a common enemy. They are not fighting each other greedily because they understand that that thought process is what put them in this situation.

Alli said...

I agree with everyone who said that the wine shop is foreshadowing the revolution. People are in desperation and are trying to survive. Anything they get will make them happy and the wine split in the streets shows hows desperate they are for change. They want the aristocracy to feel how they felt since many died of starvation or the guillotine. They are starving for blood shed. Red wine stains as well as blood. Many are getting the motivation to start rebelling and making attacks on anyone who is part of the aristocracy. Erin does make a valid point about the people being thirsty for change but it's still foreshadowing since there is a "storm" coming and the anger of the people is increasing and the "storm" just keeps getting bigger.