Verbal Irony In A Fellow Of No Delicacy By A Fellow Of No Delicacy

1140 words - 5 pages

Charles Dickens was an extremely popular author during the Victorian Age. His novels were published serially in magazines. Many accredit Dickens’ popularity to his well-written stories that were full of coincidence and fate. He used many literary elements including foreshadowing and verbal and dramatic irony to grab and hold the readers’ attention. Charles Dickens assuages his readers’ appetites for complex and sentimental plots with clever chapter titles, cliffhangers, and the overarching theme of fate.
Dickens uses verbal irony in chapter titles to reveal a person’s true character. He names the chapter dealing with Carton’s thoughts and feelings “A Fellow of No Delicacy” and the chapter about Stryver “A Fellow of Delicacy.” Stryver maintains the attitude that he would be bestowing a great gift upon Lucie if he were to make her his wife. His arrogance leads to anger when his love for Lucie is questioned. Stryver boldly announces his plans to tell her of her good fortune with no doubt in his mind that she will be overjoyed and thank him for brightening her future. He never considered whether or not she would even accept his marriage proposal or ever love him. Carton, on the other hand, eloquently says to Lucie, “If you will hear me through a little more, all you can ever do for me is done. I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul” (115). He is confessing his love for her without presuming that they will be married. Carton appears to be apathetic, but once he gathers the courage to tell Lucie his true feelings for her his words are thoughtful and beautiful. He goes on to tell her, ”… when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you” (117). Carton is telling Lucie that he loves her so deeply that he would give up his life to keep the man she loves alive. Darnay is the love of her life and Carton must not covet what he has and care for Lucie from afar. His love for her is so profound that he would be happier seeing her married to the love of her life than spend the rest of her life with him. Carton’s confession is foreshadowing that hints at his ultimate selfless fate.
Dickens keeps the readers anxious for the next installment of the story by adding a hook at the end of each chapter. He often uses foreshadowing to end the chapter with an air of mystery. One prime example of foreshadowing at the end of a chapter is when the Marquis asks of his servant, “Monsieur Charles, whom I expect; is he arrived from England?” (90). A reader who has paid any attention at all during the novel should make the connection that Charles Darnay is from England and wonder if the Marquis could be referring to him. This question at the end of the chapter leaves the readers guessing and hungry for the answer. Dickens reveals in the subsequent chapters that Darnay is the Charles the Marquis inquires of and is, in fact, his nephew....

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