By Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens takes us to the 12 months 1775, the place England and France are present process a interval of social upheaval and turmoil.
The forces which are resulting in revolution in France are colliding with a circle of individuals in England, inflicting their destinies to be irrevocably intertwined.
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Extra resources for A Tale of Two Cities: A Story of the French Revolution
What has given rise to singing here is not alcohol but spiritual experience, though this is left out of the narrative. It is as if such a tender moment is so alien to the men’s lives that even the narrating voice cannot find words to utter it. In retrospect the characters are so embarrassed to have revealed so much, they could not admit it happened. In the context of A Child of the Jago, neither the hymn (as a genre) nor the voice are in themselves signifiers of spirituality. But at that moment spiritual experience is articulated by means of religious song.
In a Latin sonnet written in honour of the singer Leonora Baroni, Milton tells her: ‘The music of your voice bespeaks the presence of God. 27 For Hegel in 1830, the best and highest way of expressing inner sentiments was by means of singing, wailing and moaning – all sustained vocal sounds that allow the soul to rid itself of feelings that are causing irritation. 29 This small number of examples suggests that symbolically, experiences of vocal meaning which lie beyond speech might be read in profoundly mystical ways over extensive historical periods.
30 The singing voice, then, has been in a unique musical position to merge different worlds of meaning: self-authority, human emotion, and the most slippery of them all, the soul itself. 32 However, they are set apart from other working-class fictional characters by their ability to sing. 33 Unlike middle and upper-class singers, Thyrza and Margaret perform simple songs in public houses and damp rooms. These locations are associated with poverty, and differ significantly from comfortable drawing rooms and concert halls – spaces that function as shrines to High Art.