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Book 1, Chapter 3 Notes from A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 1, Chapter 3

Jerry proceeds through the dark night shadows to deliver the message to Tellson's. He discerns a vague sense of creepiness, as if the shadows of the night are trying to communicate the strange message he is delivering. Meanwhile, the passengers in the Dover coach are resting, but Mr. Lorry is having a haunting dream that he is conversing with a man who has been buried alive. He sees an image of a man with an emaciated, pale face. In his dream, Mr. Lorry has this exchange with the man:

"'Buried how long?'
'Almost eighteen years.'
'You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?'
'Long ago.'
'You know that you are recalled to life?'
'They tell me so.'
'I hope you care to live?'
'I can't say.'
'Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?'"
Book 1, Chapter 3, pg. 12

In his dream, Mr. Lorry always receives a different answer to the last question. Sometimes the emaciated man replies that he wants to see "her," other times he says it would kill him if he saw her too soon, and other times he simply replies that he doesn't know who she is. In the dream, the exchange is followed with Mr. Lorry digging the man out of the earth.

Topic Tracking: Resurrection 1

When the man finally emerges, earth caked in his hair, he fades away to dust. The image startles Mr. Lorry into consciousness. But even in his awakened state, he still sees the figure and still has the same exchange with him. When he fully awakens, he realizes that it is dawn. He exclaims to himself, "'Eighteen years! Gracious Creator of day! To be buried alive for eighteen years!'" Book 1, Chapter 3, pg. 13

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