16 de octubre de 2010

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Dickens is probably the best narrator in English, we hope you enjoy the privilege of reading this great novel during the year 2010-2011.

548 comentarios:

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Isidro dijo...

Mr Darnay decision of going to France to try to liberate Mr Gabelle is senseless and only can it be understood taking into account the shame he feels.
If the revolution had not taken place, he wouldn’t had any problem of conscience with his behaviour. But after the revolution, he appears as a traitor and as a contemptible fellow to the aristocracy; and as a coward to everywhere. For example, we know everybody’s comments, specially Mr Stryver’s, about the Marquis St Evremonde in Tellson’s Bank. Mr Darnay had to hear impassive Mr Stryver’s harsh criticism and he only could say, in response to his serious allegations, that he didn’t understand the gentleman.
But the reality is that all appearances accuse him, and he acknowledges himself that he has been all this time in the clouds neglecting his affairs; and what is worst of all, he can not bear the idea that Mr Gabelle pays for him. Therefore he did not a cold analysis of the situation and he took a wrong decision. If he had thought without any complex he would have realized that he was not the appropriate person to achieve the liberation of Mr Gabelle.

So, if until now he has acted wrong because he has been a pusillanimous and weakly fellow, finally he has acted wrong because he has rushed.

Isidro dijo...

I'm sorry.
I want to correct a mistake of my last comment:

He appears as a traitor.............; and as a coward to everybody.

carmen dijo...

A very interestingpoint of view, Reyes and very well-proved in your case Isidro.
I see great differences betwen the Scarlet Pimpirnel and Darnay, darnay is not capable of organizing anything, I cannot see him leading such a group as Sir Percy led, don´t forget that he run away to England..
I don´t think Darnay would be a man of action ever. Moreover he cannot fight his uncle, he is the sort who flees, not stays for the fight..

Carmen dijo...

We are going to see "Falstaff" in Teatro Valle-Inclán on 14th April, at 8.30. This is Shakespeare, and three hours long we leave at 12. 9€, if anyone is interested bring money next week

Isidro dijo...

Mr Lorry’s work in France was very disturbing, because he had to control many deposits of tarnish plate and jewels of people that rusted in prison or was died. Moreover, the house of Tellson’s Bank in Paris was next to the house of the Monseigneur that in one occasion took chocolate rounded of a cooker and three servants. He had fled and the house was occupied by revolutionary people who drunk brandy in its apartments. And Mr Lorry could see from the windows the courtyard of this house, where there was a grindstone in which a throng of horrible wilder and bloodthirsty people sharpened all kind of weapons as hatchets, knives, bayonets and swords. All these people and the weapon were full of smear of blood and the queue at the grindstone was endless, because it was constantly renewed by new people that howled, drunk wine and all of them had their eyes stained with blood and brutality.
These people are the builders of the revolution and the revolutionary work consists in trying to root out the ideas of the ancient philosophy in order to nobody can think in the future to have the right of life and death over the surrounding vulgar.
But, it was necessary to shed so much blood of innocent people? It was not possible to build a new order without deploying so much brutality? Who would dare to stop and try to redirect the wild current of hatred and revenge of the uncontrolled crowd?
In my opinion, only after the tsunamy having exhausted its massive and uncontrolled energy, could someone try to introduce some principle of rationality. Meanwhile, only is it possible to wait and to hope, as Mr. Lorry does, that no one near and dear be immersed in the wild stream, and to feel sorry and pity for the sufferings.

Isidro dijo...

I’m sorry, but I have to correct a mistake of my last comment:
“people that rusted in prison or were died”.

Sometimes, before writing a new comment I read the last one because I don´t want to repeat the same ideas and it is then when I detect mistakes that I had not seen before. That’s what has happened me today; I just came from Zamora where I have been this weekend and the first thing I see when I look at the blog is my error. What a frustration!
Nevertheless the errors that worry me most are those not detected by me, because I ignore many things. I hope there are not many, but the uncertainty overwhelms me.

So to write, or not to write, that is the question. Why to bear the risk, if the result is always frustrating? The fear paralyze me, but at the end I decide to act.

Isidro dijo...

The journay of Mr Darnay to Paris was awful. He was a escorted and to pay for it. He had to travel during the night and discovered that everybody hated him, and finally he got a prisoner at the Force, where he found an unexpected ambiance of ghostly and very amiable figures that look at him with pity, when they knew that he was “in secret”.
He thought that Mr Defarge could give a message to Mr Lorry but he denied do it, therefore Mr Darnay found that his life was in serious danger because he was alone and nobody could do anything for him.
What is very strange is that he thought he could do anything to Mr Gabelle when he was not able to guarantee his own security. In my opinion, Mr Darnay can be more senseless.

Isidro dijo...

When we see the atrocities of men in the Age of Enlightenment and all the subsequent atrocities of mankind until today, can we really say that man is, above all, a rational animal, as we have heard so many times?
Why it is so difficult to admit that, most of the time, feelings and passions play a greater role in us than reason?
Why it is necessary that a catastrophe like the one of Japan occurs and thousands of people are threatened of suffering the effects of the radiation in the next years for the scientists finally admit that it is better to renounce to use atomic energy?
Why the scientists hided or minimized the danger of the atomic energy?
Has anyone calculated the risk that all countries in the world continue installing nuclear plants to keep the race for development?
Would not be more reasonable to decide a sustainable development to guarantee the social welfare without destroying the environment?
Why it has taken so long to decide to take actions to protect civilians in Libya? It was really necessary to the International Community to have many dead people over the table to take this decision?
It is regrettable that United Nations acts like the gods of early civilizations, that it was supposed they only were complacent after the necessary human sacrifices.
Only can we hope that not be too late to overthrow Qaddafi.

Carmen dijo...

Isidro very good thoguhts with which I totally agree, we are horrible indeed, and the thing is that we don´t seem to be able to grow up and become better!!!

Carmen dijo...

Yes, Darnay´s journey to Paris is clautrphobic and horrible, so well described

Isidro dijo...

What a surprise to Mr Lorry Lucie and Mr Manette’s arrival !!! He thought that it was a luck that any of his friends or dear people were in France in this turbulent time, but when he discovered that Mr Darnay was a prisoner in the Force, he got paralyzed by fear and uncertainty.
He is a man of business, but the current situation has left him completely overwhelmed and did not even want to risk that Mr Manette open the lattice window to see what happened in the courtyard of the house next door.
Poor Mr Lorry!, he was so afraid that he decided to lock Lucie and her daughter in their room to avoid that the cruel and wild revolutionary could see them. But I think that to turn the key of the room was too hard and unnecessary because if the revolutionaries entered into the house they were not going to stop before a locked door. Or perhaps he wanted to avoid that Lucie could see the ferocity and savagery of bloodthirsty people in whose hand could be the fate of her husband. In any case, this gesture demonstrates Mr Lorry’s nervousness.

Reyes (5ºB) dijo...

Hi Classmates!!!

Here you have link where you can watch free on line the bbc serie "Downton Abbey" in v.o.s. or you can download it as well.

It is the first season in seven chapters.

Although, you can watch it in Antena 3 each Tuesday at 22.00 pm. but in sapnich, unless you change the audio.

I hope you enjoy it , bacause it is really good. Very soo, we will watch "Upstairs and Downstairs" in the same chanel.

http://www.sofacine.com/series/downton-abbey-1o-temporada-vos.html

Carmen dijo...

Thanks Reyes, for the link, I missed it yesterday, I organise myself really poorly!!! nOw I can catch up.
Isidro, I think that Mr. Lorry wants to prevent them from seeing the atrocities and the show of blood in general. It must have been frightening, don´t you think?

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

Mr. Lorry, as every businessman, is a prudent and restrained man;

He stays in calm and stay away from every risk or danger, but despite being a businessman, this time he shows his affection and appreciation for Dr. Manette´s family and he tries to avoid suffering and sorrow for the atrocities which are taking place in the city.

In the background, he is a good man ... sometimes he lacks his character and courage but in the end he is the kind of person who is always there to help you.

Most of the times , those people are the most important. Don´t you think??????

Isidro dijo...

What do you think of the metempshychosis of Mr Manette in chaprer 2?
Who could think he would be someday full of energy and dynamism?
I imagine that Mr Lorry became astonished when he saw Mr Manette talking to the horrible and barbarous throng.
After now he is a new man, he has become an important man, he is considered an hero by the revolutionary people, and he is the only one that can do something to liberate Mr Darnay. Meanwhile, Mr. Lorry, the cold businessman who is always with his feet on the ground,remains paralyzed and completely overtaken by events.
In my view, Mr Manette’s march towards the Bastille with his white hair as the only emblem, surrounded by a wild and excited crowd besmeared of blood and howling with beastly excitement, is nearly an hallucinatory vision. Don’t you think so?

Isidro dijo...

In chapter 3, madame Defarge is perceived as a threatening and awful woman first by Mr Lorry and afterward by Lucy.
Madame Defarge being the representation of the most relentless cruelty and resentment, Lucie immediately perceived her wickedness by her bleak look and the coldness of their behavior.
Madame Defarge showed a great interest in knowing Mr Darnay’s daughter “to protect her” according to Mr Lorry, in his statement to Lucie to reassure her; but when madame Defarge saw Lucie’s daughter, she pointed her knitting-needle at her “as if it were the finger of Fate”, therefore Lucie got frightened before this bad omen, and implored her not to exercise any power against her husband, but madame Defarge’s answer was full of hate and completely merciless, showing her unlimited desire of vengeance for the sufferings experienced previously by the mothers and wives of her social class.

So, although Dr Manette is trying to secure Mr Darnay’s release, it will be very difficult due to the great influence that seems to have Madame Defarge. And if an hero for the revolutionary people, as Dr Manette, could not liberate Mr Darnay, who could get it?
I think that if Dr Manette is unable to release him, Mr Darnay’s future is very dark, unless Dickens decided that someone had a hidden letter into the sleeve.

Carmen Segura 5ºC dijo...

Last chapters

I liked Carmen’s opinion about Lucy staying in the corner with her daughter.
The daughter means the future and if Charles can see his daughter he can think that his life will have a future, his life will continue in other person. It is like not to die completely.

Carmen is very good at connecting the book with other books or films. In this case the connection was with Spartacus, when his wife showed his baby when he is going to die.

It took my attention the way in what Dickens presents the guillotine. It is a sacrilegious idol for worship that replaces the cross.

If cross represents compassion and the crowd has put away the cross, it means that they do not have any compassion.

One more time Dickens depicts very well the mob as savages, ruled by evil forces “rising from below, not falling from above, and with the window of Heaven shut, not opened!”

The behaviour of the mob horrifies Lucy by their savage movements and screams. To see the mod dancing is worst than to see a fight.

It is normal that Lucy was horrified because she is a compassionate and loving heart.
She is a courageous woman who can overcome her sufferings and to do a daily life helping both her father and her daughter.

She reminds me how human beings are capable to adapt to bad circumstances like illnesses or wars.

She is admirable and the love for her husband is very moving and emotional. She stands every day two hours in open air with hot or cold temperatures to be seen by her husband.

I am going to read next chapters. They could be very interesting. We have new mysteries. Who is the person Mr Lorry is talking in secret? What is going to happen in the trial?

Isidro dijo...

In chapter 4, book the third, Mr Manette tried to reassure Lucie telling her that he was the inspecting physician of three prisons and among them of la Force and that she must trust to him.
But he gave Mr Lorry a secret information that could not be more disturbing. Charles Darnay was brought before a grotesque tribunal “of whom some members were asleep and some awake, some dirty with murder and some clean, some sober and some not......”. That is, it was a lawless court that decided according to external pressure; thus, when it seemed that the prisoner was going to be released by Mr Manette’s influence, the tribunal deliberated about a secret objection and the prisoner was retained in custody. Otherwise, the situation was so chaotic that sometimes the prison had been attacked by the populace and some prisoner had been dragged out and murdered; and sometimes a prisoner could be found not guilty by the court, but executed wildly by the crowd when he left prison. Therefore he had decided to remain fourth consecutive days in prison to ensure Mr Darnay’s safety.
Nevertheless, being the better known man in Paris and very respected by everybody, victims and executioners, because he acted with humanity in hospital and prison, Mr Manette was confident in his power and he thought that he would save Lucie’s husband at last. But, despite recognizing that he is a man apart, I think that it will be very difficult to Mr Manette to achieve his target, because we know that the tribunal, being conditioned by secret instructions, has not the capacity of deliberate freely.

Do you think that an old prisoner of the ancient regime, that now works as a medical inspector of the revolution, and that has become an hero will win the battle to a bloodthirsty and vengeful revolutionary, as Madame Defarge? In other words, do yo think that justice and humanity will prevail over terror in this chaotic situation? I don’t.

Isidro dijo...

We saw in chapter entitled “Monseigneur in town”, the degenerate situation of the ancient regime that foreboded his imminent collapse: “military officers destitute of military knowledge; naval officers with no idea of a ship; civil officers without a notion of affairs, brazen ecclesiastics of the worst world...” and all kind of atrocities that did shake the stone faces of Monseigneur’s castle.

The beheading of the king and the queen symbolize the end of the ancient regime, but chapter 4, book the third, shows very clearly the chaotic state of revolution. We see that the outbreak revolutionary has left a bleak, wild and completely uncontrolled situation. This is the result of the suddenly liberation of the repressed energy in the collective subconscious after centuries of suffering. In the same way that the tsunami has devastated Japan with an unstoppable force, and there is nothing to do until this tremendous energy be completely release, the situation in France, after the revolution, is completely uncontrolled. We have seen in japan cities turned into piles of rubble, cars hanging in trees, ships over the roofs of houses,... In the same way, we see in France innocent people being murdered or in prison, murderers taking part of tribunals of justice; and hatred, thirst for revenge and resentful of ignorant people are the principles that drive the decisions of the courts.
But this period of savagery is unbearable for a long time; therefore it is necessary the emergence of a great personality capable of stopping the barbarism and introducing rational criteria.

Isidro dijo...

When a building is old, it is of poor quality, its structure is damaged and threatens to fall, nothing solid and lasting can be built on the old structure; in this case, the best thing that can be done is to destroy it and to build a new building on solid foundations. So, the objective of destructing the old structure is to enable the construction of a new building more comfortable than the previous one, but the destruction in itself is useless. Thus, it is a crazy thing to destroy an old residence to remain in the open air, without substituting the old building by a new one.
In my opinion, this example is appropriate to the French revolution, because the old regime has been destroyed, but the task of the construction of a new regime has not been initiated yet. The motto of the revolution was: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death”, and until now we only have seen hatred, revenge, pain, blood and death. So, the revolution will fail if it does not achieve to build a new society that integrates all the French without exception. Only If it were possible to build a new society supported in noble principles, only if rationality were on the foundation of law, only if it were possible to cut short the revolutionary excesses, could the dreamed Republic of free citizens become.

Isidro dijo...

In chapter entitled “The Wood-Sawyer”, Dickens draws black omens around Mr Darnay and her family. More than a year of uncertainty is to much to Lucie, who has lost her colour.
Much though Dr Manette tells Lucie that nothing can happen to her husband without his knowledge and that he is going to save him, Lucie’s pessimism is justified. Seeing tumbrils loaded with corpses every day, Lucie can not help thinking that every day can be the last for her husband.
The only thing she can do, is to stay in front of the prison, with the hope of making her husband’s isolation more bearable, if he sees her. In this chapter we have seen her to feel fear of the wood sawyer when he looked at her blatantly and told her threatening allusions, and she was also frightened and bewildered by the ghostly dancing round her and her daughter.
So, in this chapter, I see the black clouds and all the threatening signs of the imminent storm. Don’t you?

Isidro dijo...

I just finished the reading of “The boy in the striped pyjamas”. In this book, we don’t see repression, terror, despair, torture and annihilation of human beings, but all this is in the air even though the innocent and naive look of Bruno, the main character child of the story, doesn’t perceive it. Seeing Bruno,s naivity, I can not help wondering the way in which little Lucy would be affected by the family problems. Do you can imagine the way as little Lucie would see the surrounding world? Although Lucie, without any doubt, would try to soften the dramatic situation, before her daughter, do you think she would achieve her target?
In extreme situations, children are always the most vulnerable because they do not perceive the true extent of the dangers that threaten them and therefore they are completely helpless. And this is the reason that explains the anxiety that always surrounds the thriller stories of children.

Carmen dijo...

Well, Isidro, well done, brilliant, you write really well and argue well, Is it from your background?

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, thank you for your kinds words, that a considerate exaggerated. Obviously, I express my own thoughts in my comments, but I look for words in the dictionary; nevertheless, the more I write, the more words I know, the less ones I have to look for; and otherwise, it indirectly influences positively on other aspects of my spoken language. So, I only see advantages in writing, and therefore I write so much.
However, being my first interest to improve my speaking, I admit that I would spend more time in listening and speaking than in writing, but I have decided to do what is easier and more enjoyable to me.
I think that my great handicap is my bad ear, which is so bad that I can not stand to stay much time listening English, being very hard to me to listen without understanding. I would like to speak as fluently as my classmates, but my initial disadvantage in this respect was too big.

Isidro dijo...

In my previous comment I meant: " …........your kind words...."

Regardless of the period concerned, when a human being is in a situation of isolation, living conditions extremely adverse, all acquire a special dimension and feeling and experiences are more intense than in normal situations, leaving a mark on his personality, sometimes in a pathological way, that will never be erased. So, although we have made progress in science and technology, our feelings and passions are the same as ever, therefore in desperate situation everybody takes anything (in Spanish languish we say we grasp a burning nail). Thus, in the case of a war, a revolution or a great tragedy (and we have many examples of these kinds today) there is no other choice, but to try to get ahead whatever way.
We know that, after Mr Darney’s senselessness, all the family was catch in the same trap and everyone now depends on the others. Dr Manette has assumed an unavoidable commitment, and he has been strenghtened by this experience; Mr Darnay only can expect that Dr Manette achieves to liberate him, and his desire of seeing Lucie and his child is understandable. And Lucie goes every they to her daily appointment with the emotion of a furtive girlfriend; so her daily walk is not only a generous act with her husband, but also a little personal satisfaction for herself. What other thing could she do in a so hostile world as the one surrounding? Would not be more mortifying to stay locked at home permanently? So, she is obliged to do what she does. That is, she is not a heroin, because she only does what anyone would do in the same circumstances.

Isidro dijo...

What a lack of control! When in chapter “The Triumph” the gaoler read the list of prisoners that had to be judged, some of them did not respond because or they had already been guillotined and forgotten, or they had died in prison. And we already know that sometimes the people entered in the prison and murdered a prisoner, and others times they killed prisoners acquitted by the tribunal, when they came out of the jail.
Moreover, in the same way that a small boat, in a stormy sea, is brought to and fro by the waves, the tribunal in the courtroom seems to be a marionette run by the audience’s emotions. So, in this situation of chaos, the administration of justice was pure theater.
In principle, the audience was always against the accused, but in the case of Mr Darnay, the people were in favour of Mr Darnay, after knowing he was the husband of Dr Manette’s daughter.
Monsieur and madame Defarge were among the audience of the courtroom, but they were not among the people that enthusiastically cheered, when Mr Darnay and Mr Manette emerged from the gate of the prison. I guess that they would be home very upset, and Madame Defarge would be knitting all night.

Carmen Segura 5ºC dijo...

Chapter 6 and 7

In chapter 6 we can read about the trial. The impression is that the court is ruled by political passions more than by justice. It is necessary to convince them that you are republican, so you will be free. It does not matter if you are guilty or not.
Sometimes in politics passions are more important than reasons.

At the end of the chapter Lucy’s head is on her father’s breast. This scene reminds us to other scene, when Dr.Manette’s head was put in Lucy’s breast in the garret.
The relation and love between father and daughter were complete, full of sense.

In chapter 7, Lucy fears for her husband because other innocents are been killed.
The footsteps remind the footsteps that Lucy used to hear in England.
It is another parallel scene. As we are arriving at the end we have the impression that all tings are interconnected.

Charles is once more arrested. At this time Dr Manette cannot help him.
The revolutionaries say that he has to sacrifice his life and his family life if the Revolution requires it.
It is very common in revolutions and in dictatorial systems that the ideals become more important than people.
This idea will be repeated in the next trial when the judge says: “Nothing can be so dear to a good citizen as the Republic”
It is a pity. Justice and Mercy must be more important than revenge.

This weekend I am reading the followings chapters and I am deeply touched and exciting.
Miss Pross’s brother appears…. Carton arrives …. And the letter !!!! Things are interconnected.
Next weekend I will write again.

Isidro dijo...

The populace of the courtroom “were the directing spirits of the scene: noisily commenting, applauding, disapproving, anticipating, and precipitating the result”. They were ready to take action if the opportunity arose, and that is why they carried all kinds of weapons, but at the end, after knowing that the accused was the husband of Mr Manette’s daughter, the overwhelming wave of triggered emotion inexorably led the accused to freedom.
Doctor Manette and Mr Darnay’s departure of the jail was a spectacle worthy of a Valle Inclán’s play or of a Berlanga’s film. The atmosphere of excitement was similar to the one of a bullring after a successful performance. In both cases, the star of the show runs a great risk, and the public enjoy living strong emotions.
The procession of the mob with Mr Darnay being transported home on the shoulders of the crowd, sitting on a decorated chair with symbols of the revolution, was something absolutely grotesque: a relentless stream of overflowing emotions unleashed, with cheering, embraces and dances all around; a great collective catharsis that reached its climax when Mr Darnay “stood upon his feet and Lucie dropped insensible in his arms”.

If in the bullfight the maximum prize is the bull's tail, in this case Mr Darnay’s prize seems to be the recovery of his beautiful wife, therefore people do not disperse until having achieved the goal. However, we also could say that it is Lucie that receives the highest trophy, with the delivery of her husband, therefore she fainted of the intense emotion. Don’t you think so?

Isidro dijo...

Dickens conceives his novel as a meticulous puzzle leaving no loose ends. But many times, we have to wait much time before he ties up the loose ends. Therefore it is very easy to miss something, or to make wrong associations, like the one I made today when I thought that Dr. Manette's cell , inspected by Mr Defarge in chaper 21, was the same that the one described by Mr Darnay in chapter 6 of the second book.
You all Know the similarities between the two cells: Dr Manette was prisoner in the North Tower and Mr Darnay asked in chapter 6 about the Tower, there was ash in the two cells and some words in the walls, and it was supposed that in the two cells there was hidden a message.

In my second comment of 26 December I alluded to a comment of Reyes who talked about Mr Manette nervousness. I said then that both, Dr Manette and Mr Darnay hid a secret; and I still think the same thing now. But I thought that Dr Manette had felt ill because Mr Darnay was talking about his cell in the Tower.

The similarity of the cells given, I do not surprise that Dr Manette felt sick when he heard the story told by Mr Darnay. Did you?
And If finally it were true that he had left there a hidden message, he would have even more reasons to be uneasy, especially if it revealed some embarrassing information about someone known to him.
Sometimes, it is better not to write anything, because the writing may turn against ourselves. Don’t you think so?

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, I insist that you speak much better than you think!! First of all you speak, and secondly we all understand you, so what esle is there in communication? Of course, you have to still correct the third person´s -s, and the -ed but the more you speak the better you will do this!! As with the writing the more you practice the better you get. Keep going

Carmen dijo...

Carmen, YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THE STORY!!! Please I told you not to.

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

Isidro you are right...everything you write , kepps there forever, so sometimes it is better not to do it and mostly it can be embarrasing for us.

Under chapter 7, I guess is very important and determinated for the plot of this novel, here we are begining to discover the real plot and the connection between all the characters..... Dr.Manette, for example, who was considered very important and with many influences to protect Charles and release him.... but now we realize that the more important and with more strength and power people for Charles has a happy end ..are the Defarges.

This fact teaches us a very important lesson in life: Nobody is as important and powerful as we think. Sometimes vanity is treacherous.. and time puts eachone in place.

And almost always ...the person less imaginable is the most decesive..Don´t you Think?????

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

Sorry..because I write very fast , I make many mistakes:
1.- keeps
2.-I guess it is very important ans determinating..........
3.- unimaginable

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, I thank you very much for your kind words.
You are write as ever. It is true that the more we practice the better we get in whatever aspect. I intend to do it, but it is very frustrating to discover that I make the same mistakes every time. The main problem with the speaking is that the automatisms have a great importance, introducing undetected error, for the speaker, in the speech. Thus, when I speak, if I think in the content I unintentionally neglect the way of talking; and paradoxically sometimes too occurs me that when I speak thinking in the correct way of saying what I think, I make mistakes in the content; so, the result is always frustrating to me. But don’t you think that I am very disappointing, on the contrary, I am very happy because I think that I have improved a lot this year; I only want to be realistic recognizing my faults and not to deceive myself, because I think it is the condition for the further progress. And, in any case, I think that I am very fortunate having a teacher as good as you are.

Isidro dijo...

In my previous comment:
Carmen, you are RIGHT..... (....)…......IT occurs to me......

Reyes, thank you very much, you are very amiable.
I think that if someone can liberate Mr Darnay, this one only can be Mr Manette. He did it one time, but I don’t think he can do it one second time.

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

I agree with you Isidro.....Mr.Manette saved Charles once, twice would be too much. But...who knowns????? Everything can be possible.....but not in this case, I think.

I guess , Charles will have to fight for his own, because I suspect that there is a blind cause between Charles and The Defarges, I am going further ahead......I mean, in this ocassion, it is an internal and prive issue between them.

It had place in the past and keeps alive in the present, so besides the circunstances of the Revolution there is a question of vengance, and Madame Defarge is a strong woman with hard character who does not forgive and forget.

Perhaps Charles is not guilty, perhaps was his uncle who offended them, but it is he that is paying and suffering the faults. DOn´t you think????...Well , we will see it in next chapter.

And the "third person" will be crucial for it.

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

Another mistake...again: Who knows???

private issue

Carmen Segura 5ºC dijo...

Chapter 9

This chapter is very interesting.
Firstly we can see that Jerry Cruncher gives reasons very well. He tells Mr Lorry and he convinces him that things have two sides. It means that the same action is considered different if it is made by a rich or well-positioned person or it is made by a poor person.

Secondly, it is interesting the conversation between Carton and Mr Lorry.
All of us have the desire of being remembered by our good behaviour, if it doesn’t happen our life could be a curse. They are reflecting about that. They think that if somebody is going to sweep for you, when you pass away, it is a thing to thank God for.
I agree with them in other feeling they are talking about: when you get older, your heart is moved by remembrances from your past.

Finally in this chapter we appreciate Carton a bit more. He is depressed and does not have a desire for living and he would like to do something great, memorable and good for Lucie.
He remembers the words of Jesus Christ: He will resurrect and will give eternal life o anyone who believes in Him.
He prays to the Lord “for a merciful consideration of all his poor blindnesses and errors” and he trusts in Him, in eternal life.
I think that he believes in the eternal life and it gives him courage for his decision, that we still do not exactly know.
The entire chapter we have the impression that Carton is preparing himself to die.

At the end of the chapter once again the look of Lucie gives courage to his husband and to Carton. Another parallel scene, in the first trial Lucie touched their hearts too.

Isidro dijo...

In chapter entitled “A knock on the door” Mr Manette, in his paper of grand father, told little Lucie a story in which he and his daughter are the heroes. From the psychological point of view, it is true that Lucie was crucial to Mr Manette’s recovery and Mr Manette has intended to release his daughter from her anguish.

Dr Manette shows his logic pride for his decisive intervention. He has recuperated his self-confidence and lives a fantastic dream, but the knock at the door suddenly returned him to reality. In my view, it is surprising that he be so confident, taking into account that the revolutionary used to take justice into their own hands, when they disagreed with the tribunal, and he didn’t see Mr and Mrs Defarge between the mob that cheered the realise of Mr Darnay. So, he should have got some consequence, and have taken precautions.

From the psychological point of view, it is true that Lucie was crucial to Mr Manette’s recovery and Mr Manette has intended to release his daughter from her anguish. But from the point of view of the physical liberation, could we talk of reciprocity between Mr Darnay and Mr Manette? What do you think?
We can not deny that Mr Manette played the main role in Mr Defarge liberation, and in my opinion, it is also plausible that Mr Darnay played an important role in Mr Manette’s liberation? What do you think about this?

Isidro dijo...

In chapter entitled “A Hand at Cards” we are surprised by the arrival of Mr Carton that demonstrates to have many details about the people that have been in relation with Mr Darnay’s process and that seems to be in this moment the only person that could do something to liberate Mr Darnay.
The dialogue between Mr Carton and Barsad is developed as a poker game in which Mr Carton shows his great intelligence; he finally achieves to win the game with the unexpected support of Mr Cruncher that gets to disconcert Mr Barsad. But the chapter ends with a great incertitude because we don’t know the details of the commitment reached between Mr Carton and Barsad in their secret conversation .
In the same way that Dr. Manette regained his self-esteem and all his energy when he arrived in France, It appears to have happened the same to Mr Carton. We discover in this chapter a new Mr Carton full of talent and energy, but we can not forget that he is a seesaw, as Mr Stryver once said, therefore only can we wait he doesn’t collapse before to have done what he intend to do.
Do you think that Mr Carton really has a card hidden in his sleeve? Do you think that Carton will win the game to a liar and tricky person as Barsad?

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, first of all thank you for your kind words to me. Then, I see what you mean and understand it can be frustrating to make the same mistakes, as you say, unconsciously since you are worried about the content of your speech, but then you have to look at it in a different perspective: how many people in your case speak and write as well as you do? how many teenagers have been doing English for 15 years and been to England and still make those mistakes, and moreover speak a lot worse than you, let alone write? No, you are a great success in English, an example to all, mistakes or no, and I refuse to accept such a pessimistic view!!!! You are discussing an English novel in English, how many Sapnish can say yes to that? You are great and your level is fantastic, even if there are some small things here and there that need to be corrected. well done!

Carmen dijo...

reyes, I agree with you in that I see it as next to impossible that Dr. Manette can save Charles this time!! Why? I think it took him too long in the first place to help him, and having been taken a second time...well, I sicerely think that there is something more.
Isidro, only Dr. Manette can help Darnay??? Well I think there is someone playing the losing game... an expert loser by the way...

Carmen dijo...

Carmen, I do see that there is a kind of preparation in Carton, as if he were getting ready to go to that place "from whose bourn nobody returns", it has a kind of farewell-end mood.
Very well thought out the conection with Lucy and the first trial, you see it is all rounded up very well..

Isidro dijo...

What do you think of Mr Cruncher’s argumentative ability, acting as pleader defending himself? In principle, Mr Lorry as an incorruptible and honest representative of Tellson’s Bank showed his annoyance to Mr Cruncher’s behaviour, because it could affect the good name of the Institution. Nevertheless, Mr Cruncher’s argumentative consistence seems to have weakened the initial severity of Mr Lorry.
Mr Cruncher achieved to hit the nail on the head. He showed Mr Lorry that his conduct, at first sight, could be considered unacceptable; but analysing it from a different point of view, the point of view of the science and the common good of humanity, it could be considered a community service. As well, Mr Cruncher, as if he were an experienced lawyer, didn’t forget to touch the side sensible of the case alluding to his familiar situation.
Don’t you think that his reasoning was convincing? In my opinion Mr Lorry is an uncut diamond. He likely was an intelligent, sensitive and idealistic child trapped in unfavorable circumstances. Don’t you recall his words in chapter two?

“No more can I turn the leaves of this book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water........(....)..... My friend is dead , my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead......(...)... In any of the burial-places...is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?”

Poor Mr Cruncher! He is a solitary and frustrated person obliged to do what hi does, without having the comprehension of anybody; and, as we know, not even his wife understands him. He would like to live a different life but fate has been hard on him.

Isidro dijo...

Mr Carton is a compulsive loser. Since he was a young student, he was more intelligent than the others, but instead of using his intelligence to take advantage and to ensure his personal success, he spent his time doing the mates’ works, because he needed their affect. His mother died he being very young, therefore he doesn’t keep any concrete recalls of her, and with his mother he lost the security that always gives the unconditional love of a mother; and his father also died very soon.
So, Mr Carton goes through life as a shipwrecked, always looking for the lost paradise, wasting generosity to try to gain the acceptance of others. And having not self-esteem, he is afraid of assuming responsibilities, because he has the conviction that he is not worthy to aspire to high goals.
Carton long ago thought that his life was meaningless and even announced an early end. I thought that he was thinking the way and the moment of committing suicide. But now, after his conversation with Mr Lorry in chapter “The Game made”, we know that he doesn’t want to die without having secured “the love and attachment, the gratitude or respect” of any human person. And I think that If he could do something great to deserve Lucie’s gratitude forever, he would die happy. So, he has come from London with the only purpose of helping Lucie and her husband; but we don’t know the end of the game of cards because he and Barsad have played the last trick in secret.
I have a great curiosity to know if Mr Carton could help his friends without suffering negative consequences, because it is very disturbing that Carton decided to speak in secret with a rascal as Barsad.

MANOLO AV2 B dijo...

I think Chapter 9 is extremely brilliant and meaningful, in which we can see unknown handy technics coming from Mr. Carton. Besides, Dickens uses a very illustrative metaphorical picture to show the possibilities Mr. Manette has in this second arrest of his brother in law.

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

Chapter 9 is very determinating for understanding both Mr. Manette and Mr. Carton´s attitude. After reading it , I have changed my mind about Mr. Manette´s behaviour.

I think that he has insisted in saving his son-in-law so quickly and hardly because perhaps ( after anylising the relation with C.D., and his imprisionent) he feels quilty about it and has some remorse because he wrote that letter.

I guess it is his conscience that leads him to use all resouces which he disposls to save him. There is a blind interest to his daughther not to hate him for his previous acts,in the past .

On the other hand , Mr. Carton is not so important and powerful, he plays his cards with intelligence and knowing he is a looser but because he has not anything more to lose he risks everything to save him.

Mr. Carton is more praise because he has a bad trick, not as Mr. Manette that he had good cards, from the negining he played an ace up. So , now at this point I like hoe Mr. Carton is leading the situation.

Isidro dijo...

Carmen: Once again, thank you very much for your kind words, which are a great boost for me.
Regarding to the possibility of Mr Darnay’s liberation, after being imprisoned again, I think that Mr Manette has no chance to do anything; and it seems that only Mr Carton has a hidden strategy. But, despite the title of the chapter being “The made is Game”, it is very disturbing not to know the side to which the balance will tilt. Do you imagine what is in Carton’s head?

In my view, we can not expect anything good, because there are black omens in the environment. When Mr Carton asked the chemist the products written on a scrap of paper, the chemist said “You will be careful to keep them separate, citizen? You know the consequences of mixing them?”
Don’t you see a certain danger in sight? Carton seems to have a clear plan, but something will go wrong, because the repetition of the words pronounced in the grave of Carton’s father are like an anticipated Requiem that tinges all of sadness and hopelessness.
I recognize here Dickens’s way of anticipating events. For example, we saw the wine spilled on the street-stones of Saint Antoine as a metaphor of the blood that one day would be spilled in the same place, or the echos of Soho as an anticipation of the chaos produced by the revolutionary crowd. And now we see the death very clearly reflected in these words: “I am the resurrection and the life....”

MANOLO AV2 B dijo...

Firstly, thank you very much Reyes because when I read you post I inmediately realized my awful mistake in my yesterday´s post. I had wrotten "brother in law" instead of "son in law". Of course, it is referring Dr. Manette´s son in law, C.D.

In any case, I would like to comment something more about this so decissive and tricky chapter.
Mr. Carton is aware most of the people consider him as a lazy and irresponsible man. So, at the spur of the moment he has the most profitable occasion to show them that he is capable of doing impredictible things, even with some pinch of peril in them.

By then, he has drawn a meticulous and veiled plan to get C.D. released forever. I think that is the pivotal reason because he ordered Mr. Basard entering into the room, to explain him it secretely.

Not only he will be able to obtain all the people admiration but it will increase his self-esteem levels.

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

Mr.Carton has became in a "really" surprise in this chapter; but that happens in real life , as well. Someone who is negligible, someone who is not important for people, in a decisive moment it is the person that take the control and is capable of helping and resolving your problems.

This kind of people is always there, by your side, without being important or making any noise, but at the end....Are they who really support us without asking anything in return.

Don´t you think????????

Isidro dijo...

Do you imagine the atmosphere of the audience in the trail of Mr Darnay, while the reading of the handwritten paper that Dr Manette had wrote in prison? Do you imagine the courtroom crammed of “common dogs” listening very attentively the tragic story of a common dogs’ family suffering to death, trapped in the Marquis and his brother’s clutches, who watched without the slightest hint of pity their agony?
I imagine the excitement of the crowd during the reading and the final catharsis when they knew that Doctor Manette himself, an hero to the revolutionary mob, denounced the two brother and all their descendants, to the last of their race. When Mr Darnay was doomed to death within twenty four hours, the roar of the audience was awesome and Madame Defarge entered into ecstasy, while Mr Manette and his family sank into the utmost despair.

Isidro dijo...

Doctor Manette had achieved to recover his strength and self-esteem, and so proud was he of his success, that he had presented himself before his grandfather as the hero of a fairy tale; but now he just realized that no one can escape from his past. Dr Manette’s main problem is to have put a blindfold over his eyes, not talking openly with Mr Darnay and concealing the truth to his daughter thinking that this way he would preserve her happiness.
Otherwise, even if he is not responsible of the verdict of the tribunal of justice, he committed a mistake when he spread his denounce beyond the two brothers, that were the direct and only responsible of his tragedy. He should have had into account that the Marquis of Evrémonde’s young wife was a very compassionate lady, that lived with sadness and fear because of the cruelty of her husband and brother-in-law, and that also was very concerned about her innocent son’s security, who could became a victim of the wild behavior of his father and his uncle.

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, how appropriate was your decision to dedicate the last class to discuss the texts about the honor, right just before the chapter in which the honor is the substance!!!!
Dr Manette’s writing shows us that, in adverse circumstances, it is very difficult to live with honour without paying a high price. We know that many people, all over the world and in any time, preferred to die instead of living unworthily, because honour is the only kind of transcendence for us, the only way of reaching a glimpse of eternity; without honour we lose our wings, and our legs became clay and we sunk in the earth.
But sometimes honour is a fake wrapper that hides the opposite of what it seems to show, as when talking to his nephew the Marquis said: “I will preserve the honour and repose of the family, if you will not”
Don’t you think that uncle and nephew have a different idea of what honour means?I do.

Isidro dijo...

Poor Dr Manette! Fate has played him a dirty trick, because he has been placed in an extreme situation. Most people have to live a quite life, facing minor difficulties of the daily life without having to make crucial decisions, but others have to face severe tests that leave them marked for life. And in these circumstances, as Charles Churchill said, “if honor calls, where’er she points the way, the sons of honor follow, and obey.”
If Dr Manette had not decided to walk by the side of the Seine, he would not have been found by the two hateful brother, and he would not have had been any trouble. But the two brother found him and, after this moment, his life changed for ever, because he was going to “see things to be seen, and not spoken of”. Doctor Manette rejected the money and the rouleau of gold that the Marquis offered him, knowing that this gesture would mark him for life.
Dr Manette was a young doctor, an expert surgeon with a rising reputation; the Marquis had told him, with intimidatory intention, that he was probably mindful of his interest. He knew he jeopardized not only his career, but his own life; but he chose to be a man of honour, because living all his life with a guilty conscience would have been very hard to him. Mr Manette could not do other thing, after having seen the young boy’s sample of dignity, choosing to die with pride instead of living embittered all his life.

Many people have died and are dying every day all over the world, because they share the thought that Shakespeare put in the mouth of Antony: “If I lose my honor, I lose myself....” (Antony and Cleopatra).

Isidro dijo...

My youngest son has been operated on his shoulder, and he is with his right arm immobilized, therefore this is the first years I stay at home in Eastern week. I have a strange feeling because Madrid is empty, and the corner of my street is not resounding with the echoes of footsteps, coming and going, like the corner of Soho. Nevertheless, there is something coming in the atmosphere, something light and mournful, a solemn music scarcely audible, a hardly perceptible smell of incense, long lines of hoods coming from beyond the time, while the sad sound of a bell stains the air of melancholy.

Isidro dijo...

In my comment of 17 april “he (Dr Manette) had presented himself before his GRANDDAUGHTER as the hero of a fairy tale”

The Marquis and his brother’s wild behaviour, described in Mr Manette’s writing, deserves the most harsh condemnation. And the worst of all is that this horrible deeds are not an exception, but a sample of their normal way of being, because for them the common people are at the same level or even below that the beasts of their countries. We have seen the annoyance of the Marquis when a child died at the feet of his horses; he showed his angry because his horses could have been injured. They taxed and plundered the “common dogs”, they hunted and obliged them to work without pay, and took their women for their pleasure and diversion.
And this horrible behaviour was not only the normal expression of the way of being of a particular family, but the expression of a philosophy accepted for all the aristocracy from the king of the large jaw to the last of the noble people. The root of all this inhuman and savage conception of life was the idea that the earth and everything in it had been created for them, and that even the lives of people at their service belonged to them, and therefore they could do whatever they wanted.
So, the irrepressible outbreak of violence of the revolutionary movement was the logic consequence of those atrocities.

Isidro dijo...

Dr Manette didn’t accept Marquis’s money. He rejected the rouleau of gold and we know the consequences of this act: he preserved his dignity, but lost his freedom. But we could imagine what would have happened if he had accepted the rouleau of gold. In my opinion, he would have progressed very quickly in his career, nevertheless he would have been trapped in the Marquis’s clutches and he would have joined the network of accomplices and necessary collaborators of his atrocities and outrages. And instead of becoming an hero of the revolution he would have made merits to die in the guillotine.
So, the life of a person can take a radical turn for the simple fact of being in a specific time in a particular place, as we saw in the film “Witness”, in which a boy’s life was threatened by the mere fact of having accidentally contemplated a murder.
In short, I believe that chance plays a larger role in our lives than we think. Don’t you?

Isidro dijo...

Sometimes, the reason of what happens become hidden; or paraphrasing the title of the last chapter we have discussed, we could say that the substance of the shadows encloses the key of the enigma. Sometimes, what appears at the light is the consequence of something that gets unknown because it is in the shadows; therefore we only can understand reality when we achieve to bring to light what is concealed.

In this chapter, Dickens reveals some of the reasons hidden until now, but being faithful to his style, he leaves some things unclear. For example, we don’t know who is the little young girl that the boy who died in Mr Manette’s arms took to a place beyond the reach of the Marquis.
In my opinion, this young girl must be now an adult woman, and having lived the horrible experience of the annihilation of his family, it is likely she be among the most violent revolutionary people.
Otherwise, knowing Madame Defarge’s great hatred and her desire to eliminate the entire Marquis’s race, despite Knowing that Mr Darnay is married with Dr Manette’s daughter, I think that she could be that little young girl, being committed to fulfill the curse made ​​by his brother. Don’t you?

Isidro dijo...

When Lucie went out of the door of the prison, after her husband’s farewell, she fell at her father’s feet, and Sydney Carton, as the good Samaritan, ever willing to help others, came and took her up.
I think that Carton will do all he can to liberate Mr Darnay, because if Mr Darnay died he would have to take charge of Lucie, and he feels horror to the responsibilities. In my opinion Carton fears the success; he seems to be used to the failure and doesn’t conceive the idea of being a winner.
In my opinion, If he achieved to release Mr Darnay he would be in heaven, because he would have Lucie’s gratitude for ever, and he does not wish anything else.

Isidro dijo...

Mr Carton is going to become a myth!!! Little Lucie asked him to do something to help mamma, and he is going to do something really great, something worth to be remembered through different generations in the family. Thus, little Lucie will tell her grandchildren when she be an old lady the words she heard him say to his mother, while he kissed her on the face.
So outstanding will be the miracle that Carton is going to do with the magic powder he bought in the pharmacy, that it will be remembered for ever. But, if Carton is going to become an hero, someone will pay the consequences, because I don’t think that the novel become a fairy tale at the end. Do you?

Isidro dijo...

Well, let me ask you some provocative questions:
Don’t you think a little exaggerated that Lucie continued faint after having arrived at home? Don’t you think that she wanted Carton to take her again?
What do you think about the fact that Carton kissed her while she was faint? Had he dared to kiss her if she had been awake? I think he would not have dared to suggest it.
Don’t you think that Lucie pretended to be faint and felt Carton’s kiss and heard his words, some words whose full meaning she only knew?

Isidro dijo...

In my comment of 26 de abril:
Sometimes, the reason of what happens remains hidden;...... (....).... therefore only when we achieve to bring to light what is concealed, can we understand realty.

I admit that Mr Carton is an intelligent man, but he is unable to use his intelligence in his own benefit. In his particular struggle for survival, he is a failure. He had low self-esteem and needed to feel loved, therefore he used his intelligence working to the other to gain their affection. And, at the end, he realized that he had wasted his intelligence.
In my opinion the intelligence is not only an ability that allows to resolve abstract problems, but to control emotions, and feelings and to implement the appropriate actions to drive himself properly.
His intelligence is suppressed by insecurity, lack of confidence in himself and defeatist mentality. And this problem is an essential characteristic of his personality since he was a child, as we see in these words:

“ If I had had any luck!
You and your luck, Sydney!!! …..The old Sydnay Carton up one minute and down the next......
Yes! The same Sydney with the same luck. Even then I did exercises for the others boys, and seldom did my own.
And why not?
God knows. It was my way, I suppose..................(....)..........
.........................................................................
Before Shrewsbury, and at Shrewsbury, and ever since Shrewsbury, pursued Carton, you have fallen into your rank, and I have fallen into mine..................you were always somewhere, and I was always nowhere.” Pages 94,95,96.

So, he has not chosen to be behind the others, “nowhere”; he suffers and he is unhappy because he doesn’t know how to use his intelligence in his own benefit; he would like to be successful, but he doesn’t know how to get it.

Isidro dijo...

In my opinion it was normal that Mr Lorry were lost and overwhelmed, as anyone in the same conditions, because he could not do anything to release Mr Darnay whose death was imminent.
Carton’s situation was very different, because he had a hidden plan; he had had a secret conversation with Barsad and had bought some mysterious powder. He went to the Defarges’ shop to verify if he could replace Mr Darnay without be noticed, arousing the curiosity of madame Defarge. And after having casually heard the conversation about Lucie, little Luccie and Mr Manette, Carton realized that they had to flee Paris as soon as possible, but we can not judge his plan yet, because he has not revealed it. Nevertheless, knowing his personality, it would be a great surprise to me that he were not a damaged of his own plan.

Isidro dijo...

Mr Darnay’s senselessness trying to release Gabelle, without any knowledge of the situation in France, was a mistake unforgivable. We knew he was a successful teacher, not only for his pleasant and profitable classes, but because “he was well acquainted, moreover, with the circumstances of his country, which were of ever growing interest”; nevertheless, we now know that he was a full ignorant of the French politic situation. So, he was not the necessary Scarlet Pimpernel to move with ease between the revolutionaries.
Then, after Dr Manette’s recovery, it seemed he could achieve Mr Darney’s release, but madame Defarge was a very strong opponent and he lost his chance. And now, we are going to Know Mr Carton’s attempt. Do you think that he is going to become the Scarlet Pimpernel of this story?
In my opinion, only after Mr Carton’s intervention will Mr Darnay get his release. But I would like that this time he used his intelligence to find a solution in which he were not the scapegoat.

Isidro dijo...

In my opinion, literature is perhaps the best way of introducing interesting topics to animate the discussions in a class of languish. At the beginning I thought that reading a masterpiece was a target too ambitious, perhaps not for the other, but at least to me. Nevertheless, I am now very happy because I realize that little by little my initial problems have been soften and the effort was worth it.
Literature is a source of vocabulary and ideas; Literature opens wide horizons and suggest different perspectives, gives the likelihood of allowing our imagination to fly to unknown territories and to analyze different possibilities. Literature is the best way of achieving to place a language class in a high level, transcending the limits of the grammar to reach the dimension of ethics, aesthetics, high ideals and human motivation. When we enter in literature world, we discover a magic world in which all is possible. In a complex masterpiece, as the one we have read, there are so many point of view that every new reading gives us a new perspective and shows us things that we had not seen before. And the discussion with other people always is enriching.
Carmen, thank you very much for giving us this wonderful opportunity, which is the best gift for us.

Isidro dijo...

After reading chapter 5 of the first book, I thought that Mr Carton’s fate was to commit suicide. So frustrated and depressed was he that “he threw himself down in his clothes on a neglected bed, and his pillow was wet with wasted tears”....” the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.”
Moreover, he told Lucie one day he was like “one who died young. All my life might have been” (page 154).......I draw fast to an end..............(....)....... In the hour of my death, I shall hold sacred the one good remembrance- and shall thank and bless you for it- that my last avowal of myself was made to you......(page 155)

So depressed was he that I only doubted if he would commit suicide jumping himself from his high chamber or hanging himself from the plane-tree of Soho; but I recognize that his choice was much better, because dying this way, he guarantees to remain alive in Lucie’s heart.

Isidro dijo...

Mr Darney wrote a letter of farewell but he didn’t think of Carton. Even a kind word to Carton that had saved him the first trial!!! And, paradoxes of life, he just finished the writing when Mr Carton arrived to save him.
In my opinion, this is an example of what has been all Mr Carton’s life. He was generous to the others, but he only achieved their indifference and became an unhappy and lonely man. He said once to Lucie he was a “self-flung away, wasted, drunken, poor creature of misuse” (page 154); he willingly always offered himself as a doormat to the others; he did not appreciate himself and so did the others.
So, he ever was the lone and wretch child who missed his mother, leaving him helpless and without guide in this cruel world.

Isidro dijo...

Beatriz, I agree with you when you said today in class that literary character exist. we know that human being share the physical world with the others being in the universe, but we have created a cultural world that has a real existence for us. This cultural world is so rich and so interesting for us that we no longer live in a physical world but in a symbolic one composed of the contents of Literature, art, music, religion, philosophy, mathematics, etc... And sometimes elements of this cultural world are part of our lives or determine our existence. Thus, Don Quijote, e=m.c2 , Mozar music, ADN, Sydnay Carton, the devil, God,....
However, there are different level of realty; one thing is real life and a different thing is the world of fiction. Literary characters are not subject to any rule, and the most interesting of them are many times bizarre, disturbed, murderers, cruel or ruthless people, but they did not decide to be like they are. Thus, we can not consider Carton responsible of his behaviour because he is not free; he have to do what Dickens wanted him to do. So, when we qualify the moral involved in a character’s action we refer our qualification to his action in case a real person had acted the same way.

Isidro dijo...

In my opinion, man is subject to natural laws, as all beings in the world; but as a rational being he must also act according to ethical principles; therefore we must take into account the others when we act, and respect them; but as well we must respect ourselves.

We have to know that it is not possible to please everybody; thus, whatever we do there will always be people that accept and others that reject us. So, we must live according with our principles, being always ourselves without betraying or humiliating ourselves to please the others or to achieve to be accepted for the others, because acting like this, we will be wretched and we will only achieve the contempt of the others.

And one of the values that must be preserved, according to our nature and to moral principles, is human life. Nevertheless, I admit that it can be acceptable to lose voluntarily our life in very particular conditions, but not for trivial reasons, as Mr Carton do.
If Carton had found one single person in the world that had loved him, he would not have given his real life for a chimera.

Isidro dijo...

When Carton declared his love to Lucie he knew that, if he had not spoiled himself, he would have had any chance with her as a lover, but then it was too late and he only could achieve Lucie’s sweet compassion. She only could give him sweet, amiable and compassionate words, and a little of a mother´s love, but no more. And this was the only thing that Mr Carton waited for.

If it were possible to live again the pass!!!! But it is not possible and therefore Carton said:
“Change places with him, and would you have been looked at by those blue eyes as he was, and commiserated by that agitated face as he was? Come on, and have it out in plain words! You hate the fellow” (page 91)

Nevertheless, Carton is going to die instead of his rival in love, with the idea of achieving a place in Lucie’s heart for ever, though Darnay be who enjoys of Lucie’s presence and of her sweet looking. But the problem is that from now on, Lucie’s look, with his divided heart, never will be as it used to be, because from now on, Carton will always be in Lucie’s heart and as well in Mr Darnay’s head, and even when they embrace each other, Carton will ever be between them.

So, they won be able to take a photo together, because, as Carmen said of hanged people, Carton’s spectrum would always be with them on it. Ja ja ja ja!!!!!!!!!!!

Isidro dijo...

In my opinion, Mr Carton dictated a letter to Mr Darnay with the only objective of distracting him to facilitate the use of the narcotic. Moreover, the writing not having any concrete reference and being a little mysterious, had the necessary characteristics to attract Mr Darnay’s attention in order to facilitate Mr Carton’s target, that is: narcotize him. And at the same time Dickens takes this opportunity to remind the reader the words that Carton once said to Lucie.

Dickens meticulously describes in this passages every relevant detail, for example the exchange of the clothes, including the ribbon to the hair, but he does not say that Carton put the writing in Mr Darnay’s pocket, because it did not happen. It was not necessary to send the letter to Lucie, since it only said something she already knew; besides, it would have been a great lack of consideration to Mr Darnay and, at the same time, he would have left Lucie in a bad place, revealing a conversation that he had asked her to keep secret.

Anna dijo...

Isidro, you're right in the sense that in that occasion is Carton who permits Lucie and Charles love. It seems to be a contradiction, but Carton's love will allow their living together once again. It's beautiful that love. Don't you think?

Carmen dijo...

Reyes, I have liked your conclusions about mr. carton. It is so true that obscure people are very often "hiding" heroes!!!! I think that Dr. Manette knows about his written and hidden letter and presumably follows Darnay and finds his way to La Force to be, should the letter be found, ready to act.
Isidro, I do think Carton wants to do somehting good before his departure. That´s why he is there... to do it.
Manolo, I agree with you in that Carton has his plan ready...that´s why he goes into the next room with Barsard: to explain it to him.

Carmen dijo...

My youngest son has been operated on his shoulder, and he is with his right arm immobilized, therefore this is the first years I stay at home in Eastern week. I have a strange feeling because Madrid is empty, and the corner of my street is not resounding with the echoes of footsteps, coming and going, like the corner of Soho. Nevertheless, there is something coming in the atmosphere, something light and mournful, a solemn music scarcely audible, a hardly perceptible smell of incense, long lines of hoods coming from beyond the time, while the sad sound of a bell stains the air of melancholy.

Well, Isidro, thank you for sharing with us such a beautifully written piece about you and yours. I´m amazed, you are becoming quite a writer!!!! And then you tell us that you cannot speak English!!!!

Well done, Briliant! keep it up!

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, I´ve liked all your comments and they are certainly well-reasoned out. However ther is one character you have totally misunderstood and that is Carton. Of course this is my point of view, reasoning you may convince some...but not me. Carton does not want to have Lucy not because he is does not want the responsibility but because he is a romantic and for him the fact that she loves him back is not uppermost. his concern is with his own self and how he feels and how he acts. he wants to do her some good because he knows that recovery and total change would be imposible with him. Remember what he made darnay write, something concerning the fact that he would sin more should he have more time on earth.

Isidro dijo...

In the last class I said one thing that was obviously wrong, but I wanted to say a different thing. I meant that all along the history, when man perceives an extraordinary phenomenon that he can not explain, he uses an hypothesis to explain the cause of it, which is a provisional answers, until he find other one more satisfactory. And it is so because we have a natural curiosity that compels us to look for the cause of the phenomenon that attracts our attention.

Thus, man created the mythology to explain the wonderful phenomena whose cause were ignored. But instead of saying this, I said that the people who believed in God were ignorants, what is not right; moreover, scientists as well uses hypothesis
Otherwise, in my opinion, the question by the origin of the universe will always be open and therefore I think that there will always be people that will believe in God. As well, the belief in God is a good way to appease the human anguish before the unknown.

Isidro dijo...

What do you think of Mr Lorry’s repentance?
We knew his wife in chapter two of the second book. She was an orderly and industrious woman that, very early every morning, before Mr Cruncher got out of bed, had already scrubbed the room and had set the table for breakfast, with the cups and saucers on a clean white cloth.
But Mr Cruncher used to go out of bed on the wrong side and he began to shouting at her with a bad mood and, sometimes, he threw a boot to her.

Do you remember these words?
“I was only saying my prayers!
You’re a nice woman! What do you mean by flopping yourself down and praying agin me?
I was not praying agin you. I was praying for you.........(....)...........
…........ ….....................................................................
And he said to his son:
“Young Jerry......while I clean my boats, keep a eye upon your mother now and then, and if you see signs of more flopping, give me a call.”

But now he has become a better man and he says to Miss Cruncher:
“never no more will I interfere with Mrs Cruncher’s flopping, never no more!.........(....)..........................................................
I only hope with all my heart as Mrs Cruncher may be a flopping at the present time.”

At the end, Mr Cruncher become a new man; he missed his wife and even he was willing to allow her prayers. What a change!!!!!!! It is not moving?

Otherwise, What do you think of Miss Pross’s emotional reaction, “striving to dry her eyes and compose herself”, impressed by Mr Cruncher’s disconcerting words? I mean disconcerting words to her that doesn’t understand very well what “housekeeping arrangement” Mr Cruncher is talking about.

Isidro dijo...

I like very much Dickens’s way of showing different kinds of emotions and feelings, as we see in Mr Carton’s character who is the most complex and disturbing of this novel. He has an inner bitterness and a contradictory personality that makes him unhappy, swinging from euphoria to pessimism. He is also an idealist fellow unable to do hurt anybody and, in spite of having a great intelligence, he doesn’t success because of lack of willing. He missed soon his mother, and he would be all his life like a shipwrecked, carried by the current, without knowing if one day he would find peace and quiet; and at the end, he passed away pursuing a crazy illusion. So, as a literary character he has a great charm.
After having been all his life a failure and frustrated man, he imagines that his fate is to ensure Lucie’s happiness; and,in return, she will have a son who will bear his name and get success and happiness that he could not reach.
But it is obvious that Mr Carton will not achieve to reincarnate in little Carton and he never will be able to feel Lucie’s sweetness look, as he would like.

While I am writing this comment, “The importance of being Ernest” of Oscar Wilde is arising in my mind; I would like to develop some ideas about this matter, but this comment is already too long.
Do you think that the name is so important as to determine the personality of a man? If the answer were “yes”, don’t you think that it would be better that the name of Lucie’s son were not Carton?
Obviously, in this novel the answer to the first question is “no”, and little Carton, though having the same name that Mr Carton, will have a different personality and he will have the possibility of being happy.

Isidro dijo...

I’m sorry.
In my last comment:
….”little Carton, though having the same name AS Mr Carton, will have a different personality.”

We have assisted along the novel at the passion and death of Mr Carton and his entering into heaven. Mr Carton’s kingdom was not of this world he was destined to reign in the world of heroes and fantasy; he will reign in his particular fairy tale, in which he will be happy seeing his name sanctified throughout several generations.
But Mr Carton’s road to success was very difficult; he had to suffer all kind of humiliations, he had to put the other cheek many times; he had to live in the last rank, undergoing the feeling of being a compulsive loser; he had to close all doors in this world and to annihilate himself to become finally a winner: the hero of his fantastic dream.

And what can we say of Mr Carton?
As I want continue being provocative, I say: Poor Mr Darnay! I wonder he will be shadowed by the glow of the new shining star in his family’s universe. How many times will he hear Lucie’s unforeseen sighs? How many times will he suffer Mr Stryver’s sarcasms? How many times will he hear little Lucie’s comment about his missing Mr Carton? How many times will he hear little Lucie to say how Mr Carton kissed mamma and told her: “A life you love.”How many times will he think that he is living a life that doesn’t belong to him?

Isidro dijo...

I'm sorry
And what can we say of Mr Darnay?

Isidro dijo...

I have to confess once more my admiration for Charles Dickens as a writer.
He achieves to introduce us in the story since the first moment, giving a dramatic force to the descriptions and creating an atmosphere so realistic than we seems to be involved by the clammy and intensely cold mist and to feel the splashing of mud very close to us, while the mail-coach lumbers up the hill with the passengers floundering on the mire by the side of it, because the horses were about to exhaust their strength.
We see the chaos of France and England in the mail-coach and the passengers struggling on the mud, hidden in the fog and wrapped from to the cheek-bones and over the ears. And we feel that anything can happen and that anyone can die for nothing, because “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”....
Thus, Dickens creates an atmosphere of thriller from the first lines and the reader is immediately caught.

Anónimo dijo...

I’m sorry. In my last comment:
“we seem to be involved by the clammy and intensely cold mist”

After the atmosphere of great incertitude that Dickens created at the beginning, we got convinced that anything could happen, because.........“it was the age of foolishness..........the season of darkness.........”
Moreover, we got very bewildered by Jerry’s image kipping his hat cocked over his eyes and covered with his muffler that he only moved while he drank. And we tried to decipher his hallucinatory speech, stimulated by the many beers he had drank, by the night shadows and by the mysterious message, “RECALLED TO LIFE”. Do you remember? “My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead......”

Isidro dijo...

I have been in a little village of Zamora some days, but before going I intended to post two comment and I could’t. Now, after coming back, I read in internet that Google had had a problem that left all blogs without service during two days.

My village is ideal for relaxing in summer when cities are oppressive by heat, but at this time it is quite boring and time passes too slowly. So I had time to write several comments that I am going to public from now on.
First of all, I would like to say that I wrote in my computer without dictionary, because I don’t have connection to internet there; and I got very surprised to my facility to write; I didn’t think that I had improved so much. So, I’m very happy because I see that all the time that I have spent in writing was worth the trouble.
Otherwise, I think that it is very positive to write in the computer because when I make a mistake the world is underlined in red colour, and this forces me to take attention and to correct my mistakes, and I have realized that the more I write the less word underlined appear.

Isidro dijo...

I just want to tell you a curiosity.

In Downton Abbey, the english TV series, Mr Carson, the butler of the house, said to Lord Robert Grantham that he had his resignation from his job because, having been blackmailed by an old colleague, he had become a thief and he was not worthy of his job. And Lord Robert Grantham said to him: “don’t be melodramatic, don’t play Sydnay Carton”.
So, Sydnay Carton seems to have become the paradigm of melodramatic people.

Isidro dijo...

Monseigneur the marquis had a particular way of seeing the world, in which his subjects were at his service at the same level that the beasts of his country, therefore he did not felt any emotion to their pain.
Madame Defarge’s point of view was determined for the tragic experiences lived by his family that are very different than Monsieur Defarge’s that was the point of view of Doctor Manette’s servant.
Mr Cruncher has also a different view of the justice than the clerk of Tellson’s Bank and than the man he found next to him in Mr Darnay’s first trial. Do you remember these words?
In Tellson’s Bank:
“It’s hard in the law to spile a man, I think. It’s hard enough to kill him, but it’s wery hard to spile him sir.
Not at all, returned the ancient clerk. Speak well of the law.”
….................(....)...........
In the courtroom:
Ah! returned the man, with a relish; he’ll be drawn on a hurdle to be half hunged, and then he’ll be taken down and sliced before his own face, and then his inside will be taken out and burnt while he looks on, and then his head will be chopped off, and he’ll be cut into quarters. That’s the sentence.
If he is found guilty, you mean to say? Jerry added by way of proviso.
Oh! They’ll find he guilty, said the other. Don’t you be afraid of that.”

So, Dickens created a complex world in which every character is the expression of a particular way of being, and has an special way of seeing the world.

Isidro dijo...

Mr Carton is not a new Jesus Christ, because Jesus died to save mankind and Carton only saved Mr Darnay. Besides, Carton’s action in realty is not an act of generosity, because he hates Mr Darnay, he act like this by selfishness. He knew that his life had been a failure and that he could not any possibility of ameliorate it, so the only thing he could do was to die with worthyness. He will gain Lucie’s gratitude and little Carton will dignify his name, fading all his bolts.

Acting like this, Mr Carton only did what he ever did. He used to do his mates’ works, and at the end he did the same thing, though the last work was much more difficult, but it was worth the trouble, because it was the only way to redeem him.
Poor Mr Carton, he put all his will to seek the acceptance of others and he gave his life for it.

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, intelligent as you are, I think you are quite blocked with Carton!! All your comments are remarkable, clearly, but carton´s are biased you have to allow him his heroism.
He is certainly not Jesus, but he is equally certainly a person who understands at the end, or perhaps all along what is important in human life: goodness, and he sacrifices what he considers a wasteful life for the more valuable lives of his brethren. I admit that the origin of it all is love, not a bad thing either, nuns and priests, doctors, and unknown people do this all the time since the world is world, but then he surmounts this feeling to broaden and enlarge it to something which covers all, himself included

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, you should have watched the film. You get a very good picture of what it was like, of how polite the men were towards ladies, of how considerate, of how dark life was, a pity.

Isidro dijo...

I like very much Dickens’s way of creating suspense. Don’t you?

We perceive that, in France and in England, barbarity and injustice reign everywhere and everyone can lose his life for any reason. We see the chaos of France and England very well reflected in the mail-coach lumbering up a hill with the passengers walking uphill in the mire by the side of the mail, because the horses were about to exhaust their strength and they could not advance. France and England at that time were drifting aimlessly without direction, and it was “the winter of despair”; although as things could not go worst as well you could also say that “it was the spring of hope”.

The danger was in the air, and fear was reflected in all the looks and gestures because they mistrusted each other. They were like ghosts lost in the mist, splashing through the mud, trying not to lose sight of the others. And suddenly, the sound of a galloping horse came from the mist, putting everybody on guard.

Whenever I read this passage I feel involved by the clammy and intensely cold mist, and I perceive the mud splashing falling very close to me.

Isidro dijo...

After the atmosphere of great incertitude that Dickens created at the beginning, we got convinced that anything could happen, because.........“it was the age of foolishness..........the season of darkness.........”

Moreover, we got very bewildered by Jerry’s image kipping his hat cocked over his eyes and covered with his muffler that he only moved while he drank. And we tried to decipher his hallucinatory speech, stimulated by the many beers he had drank, by the night shadows and by the mysterious message, “RECALLED TO LIFE”. Do you remember?
“No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved… …………………….(…….) ……………..
My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead......”
I find this passage very poetic and enigmatic. When I read this lines, I didn’t imagine what could be his crime. Did you?

Isidro dijo...

Dickens describes brilliantly the poverty and misery and the hard condition of life of the people of the disadvantaged classes. We saw how the people swirled round the win-shop, when a large cask had tumbled out of a cart and had broken in the street. All people around the place left their works and drank the wine with relish, using different pots, or with their hands, or sipping directly from the puddles; men, women and children, ragged people with cadaverous faces, naked feet, and all of them with the hunger reflected in their eyes and in their bones. Finally they got frolicsome, dancing cheerfully while the word BLOOD gleamed strikingly on a wall.
In my opinion, this is other passage in which Dickens achieves to impress us with his brilliant description. Don’t you think so?

Isidro dijo...

What do you think of the portrait that Dickens made of England justice?
“What is, is right”, that is, “nothing that ever was, was wrong”
We saw Dickens’s sarcasm when he presented the pillory as a wise old institution; the whipping post, as an old dear institution, very humanising; and the transaction in blood-money as other ancestral wisdom.

And people paid to see the the play!!!!!!

Dickens being a child, his father was imprisoned and he had to work many hours a day since the age of twelve, and he visited his father the weekend in the gaol where all kind of debauchery and villainy took place. So, Dickens knew very well the hardships of the poor people, and this can be seen in their descriptions.

Isidro dijo...

Dickens described very well not only misery and calamities of poor people but the aristocracy’s opulent life.
Do you remember the reception of a great lord in his grand hotel in Paris?
He took his chocolate with the aid of four strong men besides the cook, while the most prominent people of the aristocracy, the army and the clergy waited to be received. All of them brazen, hypocrite, lazy and ignorant of their professional duties; all of them became submissive, cringing and fawning with servility while Monseigneur passed between them without paying much attention to anyone in particular.
One of the servile aristocrats who attended the reception of Monseigneur was the Marquis of Evrémonde that so authoritarian was to his subjects. The same man that showed his servility to Monseigneur, showed himself authoritarian and regardless to the killed child’s father and to the mender of roads’ widow.
What a lack of sensitivity had the Marquis at the time of the accident, showing more understanding for the inconvenience caused to his horses than for the child's death!!!!!!!!!!!

Isidro dijo...

Carmen I don’t agree with you in which be good to sacrifice a “wasteful life for the more valuable lives of his brethren”. First of all because, however humble and unhappy a person is, his life is an absolute value that must be respected for everybody. I think that it would be very dangerous to break this universal principle, because whenever that it has happened throughout history the consequences have been very tragic for mankind, as all of us know very well. Otherwise, if we must respect others lives, we must also respect the own life; it is a principle inmanent in our nature and it has played an important role in the fight for survival.

Nevertheless, I admit that in some particular cases this principle can be broken, but only for powerful reason. In each of these cases the sacrifice is an heroic act that is worthy of respect. So, in my opinion, the reason that motivates the act is what determines if it is an heroic act or a madness.

I am sure that if you should have a father, a sister, a daughter or a dear friend that had planned his death to ensure that the person he or she loved should take a good recall of him or her, you would be desolated and you would think that your loved one would have committed a folly.

All I have said until now is referred to real life not to fiction personages. That is, I would not like to have a son, a brother or a dear friend that suffered as much as Mr Carton suffers in the book, or that died “heroically” as Carton die. Nevertheless, fiction life is different; thus, if I wanted to write an interesting novel I would not describe a normal character completely predictable, on the contrary, I would create a similar character as Mr Carton, or a crazy one with an unexpected behavior or one tormented by an uncontrollable passion, etc... So, literature and real life are not regulated by the same rules.

Otherwise I don’t think that the case of Mr Carton be similar to the nuns, priest, doctors, and unknown people who devote their lives to help other people, because they don’t decide to put an end to their lives, but to full their lives of sense, living intensely serving others.

Carmen dijo...

Isidro I´m ever so glad that you have improved and that mainly it has been through writing in the blog. I said that writing improves your grammar!!! Well done, you have achieved a great deal, youare writing and expressing your own ideas in...English!!! How many people in this country can do that?

Isidro dijo...

I have said several times that Mr Carton had a problem of personality that conditioned his life. His insecurity and lack of confidence, in my opinion, came from his childhood. If he had had a mother who had given him love and security he would have gained confidence in himself and would not be doomed to failure and frustration.
In my opinion, Carton’s mother death left a great empty in him, and the lack of affection in his early years accompanied him all his life.

Do you remember this conversation between Mr Carton and Mr Lorry in chapter entitled “The Game Made”:

Mr Carton said:
“Do the days when you sat at your mother’s knee seem days of very long ago?
…......Mr Lorry answered: ......................My heart is touched now, by many remembrances that had long fallen asleep, of my pretty young mother................
…........
I understand the feeling! exclaimed Carton, with a bright blush.”

A bright blush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dickens knew very well human nature and put here a bright blush very significant alluding to the great importance that the absence of his mother has for him.
And if this were not enough to perceive Mr Carton’s lack of affection when he was a child, we know that he had not the necessary confident with his father to open his heart to him. Thus, seeing Mr Lorry’s affection and his fears fell, Mr Carton said in an altered voice:
“You are a good man and a true friend. Forgive me if I notice that you are affected. I could not see my father weep, and sit by, careless.....”

Nobody can live fully without affection. Mr Carton’s life was a desperate search for affection; he was generous with his classmates and with everybody, but nobody could full the great empty of his heart.
If he had been looked by Lucie’s blue eyes as Mr Darnay was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, as he didn’t achieve Lucie’s loving look, he decided to sacrifice to reach her weeping. Moreover, Lucie one day would have a child upon her bosom, a little Carton that would receive his mother affection, a child with self-esteem enough to have a normal life and to reach success. However, little Carton’s life will be a new life, and his success won’t be able to fade Mr Carton blots.

Finally, I recognize that Lucie’s image, with his son in his bosom, is a nice image, but it is not an exceptional event, it is something that nature produces spontaneously.

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, thank you for your kind words.
I want you to know that I liked very much your last class. You always put your heart in what you do, and it is very touching.
You not only transmit knowledge, you go beyond conventional, therefore I’m very sorry for I am not able to go to class today.

Isidro dijo...

I think that the chapters entitled “Hundred of people” and “Echoing Footsteps” are something in common. In both chapters there is a passage in which Dickens shows deep emotions in a poetic way. In the first one, he shows the corner of Dr Manette’s house in Soho haunted by the storm and our friends a little impressed looking out the window, waiting for the thunders and the lightnings, speaking low because they were a little annihilated for uncertain fears.
The corner of Soho amplified the sounds; and the echoes of footsteps, coming and going, resounded unceasingly; there were multitude of people running away to get shelter before the storm broke, but Lucie was very impressed by some vague omens that she could not decipher, and said to Mr Darnay: “even the shade of a foolish fancy makes me shudder tonight, when all is so black and solemn....(.....).... I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by and by into our lives.”
It is true that the impetuous violence of a great storm resounding in the night creates an atmosphere of incertitude that makes us to feel helpless and powerless as if we were within a overwhelming and annihilating stream.

After some years, in chapter entitled “Echoing Footsteps” Lucie listened again the footsteps of time and became nostalgic remembering his happy beginning as a wife, and her heart got stirred by vague omens that filled her with uneasiness. We see here Lucie fluctuating between flattering hopes and despondency, because she was haunted by doubts and gloomy fears.
I think that Dickens shows beautifully Lucie’s anxiety face the conscience of the fragility of happiness. Don’t you?

Carmen dijo...

I would like to point out to you that Monsieur the Marquis St. Evremonde is back on scene in the person of

Mr. STRAUSS-KAHN, French, who sexually abused a black woman, a "servant" in his luxurious hotel in New York.

It surprises me that none of you have recognized our "friend"....

Isidro dijo...

In my opinion, Lucie represents the goodness. Everybody felt attracted by her and it seems that all she touched became good. She was a very affectionate woman, with her golden hair and blue eyes; and so weakly and sensitive was she that she couldn’t stand great emotions. Moreover she was haunted by sad omens and strange foreboding, and she felt faint several times: when Mr Lorry communicated her that her father was alive, during the first trail of Mr Defarge, when she climbed the staircase to the garret where Mr Manette was enclosed, after saying farewell to his husband.
Oh! So weakly looked she! so sensitive! so sweet with her blue look!, that everybody turned around her. All men longed to do something for her; even a revolutionary as Mr Defarge wanted that the revolution stopped before her, or a selfish man as Mr Stryver was willing to look after her. And Mr Carton got so captivated that he saw in her the door of the paradise.

Carmen dijo...

"and he sacrifices what he considers a wasteful life for the more valuable lives of his brethren. I admit that the origin of it all is love, not a bad thing either, nuns and priests, doctors, and unknown people do this all the time since the world is world, but then he surmounts this feeling to broaden and enlarge it to something which covers all, himself included"

Isidro this is what I said.

"Carmen I don’t agree with you in which be good to sacrifice a “wasteful life for the more valuable lives of his brethren”. First of all because, however humble and unhappy a person is, his life is an absolute value that must be respected for everybody. I think that it would be very dangerous to break this universal principle, because whenever that it has happened throughout history the consequences have been very tragic for mankind, as all of us know very well. Otherwise, if we must respect others lives, we must also respect the own life; it is a principle inmanent in our nature and it has played an important role in the fight for survival."

And this is what you answered, Isidro!!!

I ahrdly think that I said what you say I said. Read it again and perhaps you will understnad that it is CARTON WHO CONSIDERS HIS LIFE AS A WASTE not me.

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, thanks so much for your most wonderful "analysis" of my performance in class!!!

You are absolutely right in saying that "I put my heart" into what I do; if you do not put your heart, then you are empty, don´t you think? As to the fact that "I go beyond conventional", I can´t but agree with you. Another thing is, whether this is positive or not...but, that´s how I seem to come out for ever.
In any case it has been very rewarding to teach you and you have definetly learnt a lot, of which I am most proud.
Congratulations then, to you on most amazing progress!

Isidro dijo...

Madame Defarge was the embodiment of evil. So full of hate was she, that there was not place for other feeling in her heart. She looked like a robot programmed to serve the revolution that for her was a synonym of revenge. She could not reasoning, because so strong was the stream of hate that roused of the bottom of her body that his mind was unable to think. Thus, she was willing to bring little Lucie to the guillotine, because she wanted eliminate the race of Evrémonde, and she thought even that Dr Manette should die as well for having had sympathy with an Evrémonde, in spite of having reported the murder of her family and having been a prisoner for this reason during eighteen years.
I think that madame Defarges deserved to die and that Miss Pross did justice; therefore I believe that Dickens was not just leaving her deaf for ever.

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, I agree with you; Mr Strauss-Kahn is a new Evrémonde. Perhaps madame Defarge’s idea of eliminating all the race was good, and Miss Pross made a great mistake preventing his idea were carried out. Perhaps Mr Carton sacrifice was useless; he didn’t know that one of Mr Darnay’s descendants would put in practice the ancient philosophy. Perhaps if Mr Strauss-Kahn’s name had been Carton things would have been different, but people use to make a bad use of the language, because they don’t know that the name determines the nature of things.

Excuse me for being a little ironic with such a serious matter. I really think that Mr S-K’s behaviour is unacceptable; I don’t understand how is it possible that a person so intelligent as he is can act like this. We could think that nothing has changed since eighteen century; nevertheless, there has been a great change, because it is unthinkable that in eighteen century an aristocrat could be imprisoned and judged by having raped a servant. And today, Mr Straus-Kahn has lost his dignity and he is already a politician who has ruined his future.
Other interesting reflection about this event could be developed from the point of view of the complexity of the human mind, since a person can have a great growth and maturity in one respect, and be very primitive in another; but I stop here, because to develop this aspect would have this comment too long.

Isidro dijo...

I'm sorry.
I don't undestand how it is possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, I am glad you don’t think as Carton. As you integrated his words in your reasoning, I thought that you agreed with him. I’m sorry.

I Know that Mr Carton thought that his life was despicable, but I don’t agree with him. He had a low self-esteem but he was an intelligent and affectionate person whose only faults were to drink too much and to think more in the others than in himself. But we can’t forget that Dickens says that those were hard times and most men drank without any detriment to his reputation as a perfect gentleman; and nobody could think that his generosity were a negative trait of his personality.

Otherwise, I think that love in himself is good; but I think, as well, that not all what the people do in the name of love is good. Love is always good; but if you kill for love, the killing doesn’t become good for having been done for love; on the contrary, the love is overshadowed by the killing.

Although suicide is always a tragedy, I could understand that a person commit suicide, if she suffered so much that life had lost all sense for him and she could endure the pain. And I could also understand that a person gave his life for a great ideal or for defend his family or his country. But I totally dislike this cloying sentimentality that leads a man to give his live for his rival in love in order to fulfill the fantastic dream of feeling himself redeemed by a little Carton that would illuminate his name with a new light that would erase his blots.
And it is not a question of understanding, it is an aesthetic question. I like very much Dickens as a writer, but I think that sometimes his sentimentality is excessive.

Carmen dijo...

I really think that Mr S-K’s behaviour is unacceptable; I don’t understand how is it possible that a person so intelligent as he is can act like this. We could think that nothing has changed since eighteen century; nevertheless, there has been a great change, because it is unthinkable that in eighteen century an aristocrat could be imprisoned and judged by having raped a servant.

Isidro, I have copied this remark of yours, because it provides a very interesting thread of discussion. In "el Alcalde de Zalamea", the Captain rapes the daughter of the "villano", peasant, and, since he was the law in the village, he tries and condemns him to death. When the King comes and tells the Mayor that the Captain was under him and military law, the mayor defends his case and the king acquits him...17th Century. This is certainly fiction, but they were already thinking that the low had rights, at least certain rights.

I have found your commets about the different characters very interesting, You are right, Lucie attracts because of her goodness.

Carmen dijo...

Fifths (B,C),

I´m afraid that this is good-bye; you probably thoguht that this day was far away, that we would always be in "1.1, First floor", but now we have been "recalled" back to other routines and other "countries", other places. Our "tale" is thus finished for this year and I wish you all the best of lucks in your exams and I hope you all pass. In the future don´t forget your English, Carton,"fear not", you will always remember...yes, even you, Isidro.
I wish you all a very long life and hope that you use it well and are "far far better" in all you attempt from now on.

Good-bye, God bless!

Carmen dijo...

Hi, there any problems?

Isidro dijo...

Lately, I have not had time for anything, I would have liked to write some more comments, but my wife was hospitalized and the doctors have done and continue doing different tests, so my mind has fully been absorbed by this problem. However, as I finished the reading of Richard III, I would like to write a comment about this play, before saying goodbye.

carmen dijo...

Oh Dear, Isidro, I hope your wife is better by now.
I´m all eyes to read your comment.

Anna dijo...

Oh, thank you very much Carmen for your touching words!!! For me it has been a pleasure to share this year in the school. Thank you very much for been so passionate with your work, you spread it! Folks, a pleasure also!!!

Reyes ( 5º B) dijo...

Hi Carmen and classmates....How´s your things?????? First of all, Isidro, I hope your wife is better now..all my best for her.

Well...I must confess that this week I feel a little bit sad , because I don´t have to eat in the office and to attend to classes...so I have realized that something in my daily routine has been broken.

Never had I thought that I would miss all of you and my English classes.

Thanks Carmen for your teaching...because you have got that I lose the fear of speaking in English and , of course I have learnt a lot with you. I ´ve really enjoy myself your classes and finally I understood english grammar easily.

This week I have began to listen in my mp4 "A tale..." again, and I have realized that now I can understand much more than at the begining of class......without the book...so Carmen I have the intention of becoming part of my daily routine and as another activity else, reading, listening and watching in English and to improve day by day.

Anyway, It can be possible that some day I meet some of you in the school...because maybe I decide to study another language....So, who knows????????

I wish you ¡¡Good Luck!!! on the exam and maybe we can keep in touch through e.mail and keep practicing English with our writing.

See you.!!!

Carmen dijo...

Anna, I´m glad you´ve appreciated my words to you all, though briefly, I always feel that I have to say good-bye.

Carmen dijo...

Reyes, thanks for your words. I´m really really happy that I have contributed to your improvement, particularly so because you are fearless where your speech is concerned. Of course you speak it and will get safely through the exam. As to the listening skills, it is fantastic that you confirm that you can understand the tapes a lot better!!! See how much you have improved in just 9 months??? Grammar is important, too. María tells me that she knows people living in England for two years, who speak really badly because they have no grammatical base. So keep working and you will speak really well, trust me.
How are things going on the other side, that is, the side of teachers? Well we are correcting and popying marks, this last seems easy, but considering we ahve to transform the marks to new ones, that we have to copy them into the computer and that the one doing it is basicall me...me, who has not managed to put one single listening first go all this year...well,you can imagine! I have substituted the coffee for "tila"...but everything is coming on nicely. today we have ahd some good news. Only 400 for "level assessment" in September and not the expected 900!!!

MANOLO AV2 B dijo...

First of all, I wish Isidro´s wife gets home as soon as possible and that it only be a trivial incident.

On the other hand, I have to recognise the mojority of the words Reyes wrote. In fact, I think it would be impossible to improve our English if we maintained that "fear to commit mistakes". So, if you work hard this negative factor will disappear step by step and your speaking will be more brilliant every day you pronounce any English word. Even, it can occur and that, at first, you do not realise utterly that process is taking place.

For that, I am listening BBC, TED (Thank you Rosa for your advise),and other CD´s related to English speaking. Obviously, it is really shocking the difference with the early days of this term. But, will it be enough...?

Finally, refering to Carmen, I would like to mention that last term (2009/2010) was my first year with her and from the first day I realised the huge difference with other teacher´s ways of learning (Blog, subjunctive, the way of working with the reading book, ....). But, after two o three months, for labour and familiar reasons, I had to abandon my frequent attendance to class, and at the end, I lost the year.

On the contrary, this year I have achieved the closing date, and I have enjoyed the most of tasks we were supossed to do, Book, reading book, writing, blog... In this way, working hard, you can appreciate how our knowlegde of English language has improved a lot.

Thank you very much Carmen, and Good Luck, mates.

Isidro dijo...

Shakespeare’s play “Richard III” shows the ambition for power as the trigger of the most horrendous crimes. I think it is a wonderful play of great dramatic force in which the empire of evil shows its sinister presence.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a misshapen and hunchbacked personage that is the most faithful reflection of a devilish soul, is showed as the embodiment of evil; an ambitious, conspiratorial and murderous character, which don’t stop before nothing to obtain the power. He is very persuasive and a master of deceit, treachery, murder and all sorts of tricks that he uses to remove all obstacles he will find on his path. So, he is a good sample of the machiavellian principle that proposes to do whatever be necessary to reach the higher politic target, without taking into account moral valuations, what implies that the end justifies the ways.
Besides the bad, the other interesting issue of this play is the conscience that clearly appears in different moments all along the play; for example, in the conversation between the two murderers before killing Clarence, the second one got paralyzed by the inner voice of the conscience, but he immediately became resolute, when the other murderer reminded him the reward they would take when the deed were done.
In my opinion, the reasoning of the second murderer is very interesting. He says that the conscience is a dangerous thing that makes a man coward and that is also an obstacle to live well and to achieve his aims; therefore, men must trust to themselves and ignore the voice of the conscience. So, at the end, Duke of Gloucester's purse is more convincing that the conscience, that is, the principle that moves to act the murderers is the same that the one that moves Gloucester: the end justifies the ways.
But the conscience can not be totally eliminated, she is always in the atmosphere of the play, and finally she imposes its presence to Richard III when the spectra of the people he had killed appear in his dreams and haunt him, before the battle in which he would leave the crown and his own life.
Richard III behaved all his live in a despicable and contemptible way, committing all kinds of crimes to obtain the power, and even when his death was imminent did he show a pinch of dignity. Thus, when he lost his horse in the last battle, he cried: “A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!” He, who had killed so many people to get the crown, was now willing to swap his kingdom for a horse. I think that his behaviour can not be more despicable. Don’t you?


Carmen and mates, thank you very much for your good wishes to my wife.

Carmen dijo...

Manolo, you are very right in saying that it s difficult to counterbalalnce fear to make mistakes, but once you try to speak those mistakes are eventually corrected. It is very difficult to become fluent without going to the country for a period, but all of you who regularly spoke in lessons speak!!! And this is an immense achievement. of course there are things to be corrected, but you will eventually do that. Listening is fantastic because you correct things unawares...
I´m glad you have liked the method and found me... different! I think I definetly not the "usual teacher".
Thanks!

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, a very good analysis for Richard III. Yes, he was a man to be despised. The mention that you do of the end is particularly striking and very illustrative of how much he cared for anything, even for the crown, the possession of which had turned him into a villain and caused many deaths.

I hope your wife is improving.

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, after having read Roberto’s kind words of farewell, I think that it is difficult to express so well my feeling at the end of this marvelous course, therefore I only want to tell you that I totally subscribe his statement.
However, I would like to specify that when I said, in a previous comment, that you were beyond conventional, I thought it as a positive trait of your personality. I know that going beyond conventional is not always positive; it depend on the circumstances. But, in the context of a class, it is very important, in my opinion,to create a relaxing atmosphere, specially in a class of foreign language, in which students have always some difficulty to communicate properly.
I think that there are many distant and cold teachers that hide themselves behind the mask of the profession and are too much worried to follow the predetermined planning forgetting to consider the motivation and the dynamism of the class, and that don’t create the necessary atmosphere to develop an effective work. Obviously, It is not your case, because you stimulate the participation with your controversial proposals and achieve to capture the interest of the students through an appropriate motivation; moreover, you do all this strictly developing the program of the course at the highest level.
You have done a hard work all along the course, achieving a difficult balance between strictness and flexibility. You have cleared the ground; you have pulled up the weeds; you have fertilized and watered; you have pruned the branches to find the best way, and you have put your full heart into your work; so at the end your garden has the best daffodils and you have the respect of all your students.

With regard to my experience in the course, I can not be happier, because taking into account my low level at the beginning of the course, and that I am hard of hearing, never did I think that I could withstand the pace, but little by little I began to gain confidence, and now at least I know that, following your instructions, I will achieve to eliminate my bigger mistakes and acceptably to communicate in English. Moreover, it has been a pleasure and a very enriching experience the opportunity to participate in the blog, because it has been an occasion to think in English a time every day, and a good way to increase my vocabulary and to familiarize to the English language structure.
For all these reasons, I consider myself fortunate to have been able to follow your course, of which I will always keep a pleasant memory.
With my best wishes for your future, I thank you for everything.

Carmen dijo...

Honestly Isidro, THANK YOU!!! You couldn´t have put it better. I´m very flattered... I have particularly liked your metaphor with the plants

"You have cleared the ground; you have pulled up the weeds; you have fertilized and watered; you have pruned the branches to find the best way, and you have put your full heart into your work; so at the end your garden has the best daffodils and you have the respect of all your students".

I have particularly liked this piece.. you are becoming quite a writer yourself... and in English!!!! Why? You have used the word "daffodils" for the students, which for me has a value which is that whenever I remember my good moments with my students I feel the same happiness that the poet felt when he saw the bank of daffodils. So I´m very happy that you have managed to include this in your kind words for me.

As to your year, you have done an incredible one. all your remarks about the novel and the characters have been intelligent and well based, excepting some considerations about carton, of course, but this comes from your practical side. It has been a pleasure to have you in the group and real fun to read you in the blog.

Keep it up!

How is your wife doing? I hope better?

Carmen dijo...

Where is Roberto´s farewell??
Roberto, post it again!

Isidro dijo...

Carmen, Thank you for your kind words.

In my last comment, I alluded to Roberto’s kind words of two years ago, referring to your beautiful letter of farewell of your dear daffodils.

Your beautiful letter reflects your great sensibility, and I wanted to introduce in my farewell the metaphor with the plants to express this idea; therefore I am very glad that you specially liked this paragraph.
In my opinion, your letter of farewell wonderfully express the bittersweet emotional state of all farewell, when the heart has been implied in a satisfactory and enriching relationship. So, in my view, you show in your letter an essential experience that go beyond yourself and beyond a concrete moment, and therefore it is so moving. Your letter is a farewell that goes beyond the time and reach your daffodils of ever, from pass and future, and you are involved in the eternal dance of the daffodils.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
they flash upon that inward eye
which is the bliss of solitude;
and then my heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils.


My wife is at home, but the doctors are doing her different test; I hope she can recover soon. Thank you very much.

Isidro dijo...

I’m sorry. I forgot to put inverted commas in my quote of William Wordsworth’s fragment of poetry.

Reyes (5º B) dijo...

What a surprise!!!!!!! William Wordsworth is one of my favourite poets......He awoke my interest in his plays the first time I watched the film "Splendor in the grass", with Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty as the protagonists and Elia Kazan , the director...........¡¡A very good film!!!! but So sad...!!!!

When I heard the poem , in the film, I could not help crying....... Both, the film and poems which are read in it are very, very sad......... so I began to read some of the other poems of this author....... they are really fantastic.......

Here is an extract from the Ode...... " Splendor In The Grass"

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

William Wordsworth "..........

So... I encourage you to watch the film and if you like...to read some of his plays....

So, Isidro, thanks for remembering this author; it has been very greatful for me your comment.

What a pity!!!! Isidro , because we could discuss a lot , in our english class, about the meaning and comprehension of his poems......as we did with Carmen about Shakespeare´s quotes.

I like that way of working and studying..........I miss it!!!.

Roberto dijo...

I am so delighted to see that Isidro has written such a beautiful farewell towards my dearest Carmen. It is really moving for me to read your words because I still remember when I was in the same situation as yourself, saying goodbye to a unique woman. And that there have been students like you Isidro who have made the most of it and enjoyed Carmen’s superb teaching makes certainly my day. Actually, I would like to reiterate that even though I believe she has a talent to teach, it is her character (and goodness) that captivates one's soul… What a pity that people are often so blind that don’t even notice this.

Wow, thank you to for mentioning me Isidro. I found my farewell comment I wrote at the time and I don’t think is that good. In essence I think it reflects what I wanted to express, however, now I think it sounds a little bit stiff so I just post it here again because Carmen asks me to do so.

:-)

Roberto's Farewell to Carmen dijo...

Dear Carmen, I am deeply moved by so beautiful a farewell. Full of nostalgic memories, your letter makes me conscious of how much my life has changed since I met you two years ago. I remember that, in the beginning, I disliked you, noticing a sense of haughtiness in your behaviour towards people you did not know. What a mistake I made! However, I decided to keep going, come what may, because I wished to learn the language properly and I perceived you were different, the first person telling us: “Do what I tell you to do, and you will learn”. I could not fancy that such a plain statement would change my destiny, in every way. I have become confident with my skills, nearly to reach the dream of studying and leaving with English people, in the UK. Can you believe it? A person who did not know anything of the language two years ago.

Nevertheless, I value with more enthusiasm what you have done as a person. All of us are different and see people in different way, BUT after two years getting to know you, I would fiercely argue with those who just do not see what a great woman you are!
Brave, intelligent, funny, sincere and kind, there is nothing else you might ask when meeting a person. Besides, you have encouraged me all the time, supporting me as well when impediments threatened my pursuits, remarking that I must always be myself. Every time you say: YOU CAN, I know that I can.

What about the eternal discussion about men and women’s nature we have been maintaining during these two years? You have made me wish to be a MAN, and I hope I am now in the correct path to do so. On the other hand, with your help, women are not the most intriguing subject of the world any more; for you have granted us, men, the key to comprehend and “conquer” them (I am very fortunate by having succeed in finding the right person).

Finally, you have opened us the door of wisdom, culture, perfection and sophistication; pointing that we must do our best to achieve excellence and avoid mediocrity.

I really wish we MAY meet you in the future though if it BE not so, please, REMEMBER US.

T H A N K Y O U!!!!

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, I see and understand now that you read Roberto´s farewell from two years ago, and me teeling Roberto to post it again thinking it was something he wrote this year!!!Thanks also for your nice words about my letter, you have described really well what I did, which is to write something that whenever read by them would be understood and felt. I think I achieved it, which when writing it is not always easy!!

Carmen dijo...

Reyes, I´m so glad that you like Wordsworth!!! The Romantic poets in English are superb. I´ll try and watch that film. Sad it necessarily is, the Romantics were very much aware of the end of things and the sadness that this feeling carries in itself.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto, María told me about Isidro´s kind comment and said that she hadn´t found yours, so when I read isidro´s I was searching for yours, that´s why I told you to post again...never thinking it was the one you had written then.
First of all it is not stiff and it is very well written and secondly we have met "in the future", whih has been the present and is now the past, and we are meeting and going together to Woldingham on the 25th... Now, that is something we did not think possible then, and which we are doing now, you, María, my very best ever, and...me.

Thanks,as always, for your good opinion of me, it is always rewarding to think that there is someone in the world who thinks so highly of .... me!

I hope I am to it!!

Isidro dijo...

Reyes, I thank you very much your reference to the film “Splendor in the grass” and William Wordsworth’s ode. I liked very much the film, but I saw it many years ago and I didn’t know that there was a relationship between the film and William Wordsworth’s ode.
After your indication, I just read the entire ode and, as you say, it is very sad, but of a great beauty.
The beginning of the film was the strength of nature, the age of splendor... But at the end only remains the infinite sadness of what could have been and never was........So, people leave the cinema with tears in their eyes.

“Though nothing can bring back the hour
of splendor..... (.....) ............
we will grieve not, rather find
strength in what remain behind...”
William Wordsworth.


In one way or another, it comes a time when everyone notices that things will never be as before, or that might have been differently; and this is a recurrent source of melancholy.
Thus, in the twilight of life, the feeling of sadness and nostalgia is inevitable. Individually you can live it with different nuances but, even though your life has been a success, deep down a little of nostalgia and melancholy is inevitable. And perhaps this feeling can not be perceived until an advanced age with all its fullness, unless a movie like “Splendor in the grass” represents it before your eyes in all its harshness.

I perceived this feeling when I saw “Su seguro servidor: ORSON WELLS”. I copy here a fragment of the comment that I wrote in the “Theatre club” about this play in which I alluded to this matter:

“... the play conveys a certain bitterness because it shows the decline of a genius that
reached perfection at an early age and now, at his seventy years, he refuses to admit that
his time has passed. But the passage of time is inexorable and even idols have to attend
to its own destruction. And we know that the higher is the rise the harder the fall.”


Reyes, as you said, I also like that way of working and studying, and I also will miss it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, how right you are when you say
"In one way or another, there comes a time when everyone notices that things will never be as before, or that they might have been different; and this is a recurrent source of melancholy".

It is very difficult to accept this and that´s why the poem appeals to us as a means of empathy with the poet and as a lesson of how to approach this feeling of fustration, if I may be allowed to call it this.

Reyes dijo...

Carmen and Isidro , I agree with you in everything you have written.
It is the law of life.......things will never be as they used to be.....that is the reason why we have to live the "life" "intensely"........and with passion; because the moment passes just once.. if you do not caught it, probably it will never pass again.

I had a teacher at the University that he always said to me: It is better for you to regret everything you have done, that to regret what you have not done.

And it is true..I think...because if not, when years pass and time goes by.. we fell that sadness and melancholy inside, and the fustration ( as Carmen says) of those things, those moments that will never come back.

That´s why "Youth" is so important to enjoy it ourselves. It is a great treasure.... and many times we do not know how to live it, and when we learn how to do it...it is too late.

Because "Life" is just a moment, a little instance of decision and action....As W.Shakespeare wrote:

" It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves".

Carmen dijo...

Reyes what a true quote that last one. I hope you are as inspired when you write your composition.

Good luck tomorrow 5th B
Good luck on Thursday 5th C

When you walk into the exam remember what i SAID:

"My students are always the best", so believe this and act accordinly, show the teachers your class, your "linguistic breeding"....and correct your compositions, particularly the verbal structure.

Anónimo dijo...

Hello guys! I come back here to wish you good luck. I've been reading you, particularly Isidro, as I loved A tale of two cities when I read it two years ago, or three, and found your comments really interesting and wise. It is an amazing book -written by one of the best writers ever- which you would not have been able to read had Carmen not been there to guide you, for she is the best teacher ever. I am so glad that some of you have been able to see it. Some people are fair, and wise enough, to see people. So I congratulate you for having noticed the excellence, realized that Carmen is the best and that you know you will miss her and her lessons, or rather, masterclasses.
YOu talk about melancholy, as Romantic poets do, when things stop being the way they were. That is sad and frustrating, it's true. TO say farewell, in every single way, is sad and frustrating, it's true. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that life is beautiful, in the sense that there is always something good to cling to, there are always misty water-coloured memories -of the way we were- that remain, and life is also too short to be... too melancholic. Let's enjoy life as much as we can, and laugh. Let's enjoy literature as much as we can, and learn. Let's just try to be able to say Carton's words at the end of our lives to conclude that after all, in spite of everything, our life was worth living it: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
Night night, Maria

Carmen dijo...

María!!! My God, as I read your comment I thought this is one of the dafodils... very well united all of it and a very positive ending, it is true that we have to make the most of what we have and leave melancholy for...another day preferably not to come. But then the Romantics are all like that they felt attracted to what was lost and tried to convince themselves that it should not be a source of unhappiness:

"Where are the songs of Spring, aye, where are they? Think not of them tou hast thy music too" (Keats)

we have to learn to hear the music of all periods of our lives...difficult though it may be!

I´ll see ou on Friday!

Thanks for you compliments...I´m blushing...

Carmen dijo...

Well done Bs in your oral yesterday!! Be confident for your written paper.

Isidro best wishes for your wife on Friday (I´ll drop an our father...even if you object to that) and I´ll see you in September or next year!!! "little Dorrit" is what we will do, most probably.

Cs. Good luck today! Go for it like Bs yesterday

Carmen dijo...

Well done Cs in your orals.

Good luck in your written paper and remember to correct the verbal mistakes.

I won´t be there at the beginning of the exam but will be there for the end.

Isidro, best wishes for your wife today

Anónimo dijo...

So then Romantic poets were sort of survivors. I like that. We have to adapt to change to carry on and still be happy. If we were frigthened of change we wouldn´t survive, as change is imminent. We have to be ready and strong to survive and also to succeed. After all, it is always a matter of adaptation, isn´t it? Keats might have meant that when he "heard" the sound of Autumn...
María

Anónimo dijo...

It is very nice that you knew it was a daffodil writing...

Carmen dijo...

Yes María,we have to adapt..."do I have to move on, sir?", which Jane Eyre asks Mr. Rochester is similar, don´t you think?

I would recognize you everywhere... such flow! I don´t know, it´s not only how you write but what you write, the reasoning...

Carmen dijo...

Most of you have done very well!!! I´ll see you tomorrow when we publish the marks.

Congratulations to those who passed and study during the Summer to those who didn´t. There is no pasing without work, rest assured of that, but the good news is that if you work you learn!Remember to continue reading in English and listening to the BBC.

Isidro, I hope your wife is better!

This is goodbye, you are very welcome to visit us, on line, any time!

Isidro dijo...

Hallo Carmen, thank you for your good wishes in relation with my wife’s health. I am now glad because her illness was not so serious as doctors had initially thought, and I expect that she will gradually recover her health.
I could not make the exam but it was not a trauma to me, because my target is not to obtain a certificate but to learn English. Therefore I would like to repeat the course with you to enjoy your classes and the new novel.
I had projected to spend some time in London this summer, but I had to change my plans. However, in compensation, I read "Hard Times" and I have just started reading "Great Expectation". Otherwise, it is possible that I accept your invitation to participate sometimes in the blog with the intention of forcing myself to structure my thought in English.
Finally, Carmen and mates, I wish you a happy summer.

Rosa dijo...

Carmen, I want to thank you your classes during this course.
It was a pleasure for me go to the school on Tuesday and Thursday, even when it was after my work and after having a sandwich in the underground.
I will miss you. I really had a very good time and of course I have learned much more than I had though.
Thank you again.
Rosa (Avanzado 2 B)

Reyes ( 5º B) dijo...

Hi Carmen and classmates: first of all ..¡¡Congratulations!!!! to all of you who have passed the exam. I am very happy because I have passed it , as well, but on the other hand I am a little bit sad because I am going to miss you.

Thanks Carmen for your teaching. As Rosa has said, I have learnt a lot with you, and you have achieved that learning English be a pleasure for me.

I hope , next year, I can keep posting in your blog and commenting the book which you will read next courseand working, chapter by chapter with you and the new students , as we have done this course so......next year , I will read the book and keep in touch through this blog.

Thanks again...and I wish you a nice summer and enjoy yourself the holidays.

Isidro..¡¡Good Luck!!!! for you and your wife, and I hope next year I can read your comments about "Little Dorrit" in the blog and discuss with you about it.

Carmen dijo...

Isidro, such good news about your wife, i´m so glad! I´ll see you next year, then, we will enjoy the novel, which is going to be "Little Dorrit" but don´t start yet, remember with Dickens it is important to read all at the same pace...there is always a mystery.
Rosa, thanks for you kind words and keep reading and listening, you did improve, you corrected your mistakes.
Reyes, I´ll... read you next year, continue listneing and reading and then you will not lose your level.
Have a good Summer you all and may God bless you in your future life!

Anónimo dijo...

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Rosa C1 dijo...

Hello everyone.

It seems this blog is a bit quiet (long time ago, I used to write a lot in it), and it is a shame, because it can be very useful both for reading the book, both for practising writing. Besides, it can be very interesting to know the opinions of other people about this book, and the things that they have seen, and you might have overlook. I have looked if there are more recent entries of this blog, and I am surprised there are none.

I have only read the first chapter, and, although it does not tell very much, the way in which the story starts is very good, and the description of the convulsed period, very ironic.

We will see.

See you later.

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