There is so much in these pages about food: the scarcity, the games, the emotions, how it’s being stored and eaten. It’s like a food dance. Most importantly, all this is about us being around food and how it determines the social class we belong to, plain and simple. Blame Dickens.
I grew up eating French baguettes slathered with butter and sprinkled with sugar. That’s all I had, day in, day out as a snack in the afternoon. Unlike the buttered bread described in this page, they were made with love, and they had no pins and needles in them, obviously. I am grateful.
I love when people give human characteristics to inanimate objects. It’s very Pygmalionist. Let’s be honest, we are all a bit pygmalionists in one way or another. Some people just don’t want to accept that.
Sometimes, most of the time, you don’t really need a lot of words to describe something fully. All it takes is a powerful analogy. On the other hand, simple analogies could be so devastating, so negative. Bottom line: be careful when you speak analogies!
The gibbet and the beacon in this page stand for two types of people: ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The beacon shows sailors the way home, the light is there to save them from death. The gibbet is for the people who committed criminal activities, there is no light to save them from death. It’s Dickens way of saying we’re all both beacons and gibbets, basically.
We store emotions in our bodily organs. Ignoble, constrictive, base emotions like cowardice, timidity, guilt, remorse, deceit and duplicity weaken our Heart. Anger, irritability, frustration, resentment, jealousy and envy weaken our Liver. Watch what you feel.
We all carry some sort of metaphorical shackles, and we spend our lives wishing for someone to bring us a metaphorical sledge hammer to break them off. That usually never works out. The minute we smash them open there is a different set locking on you. It’s human nature.
Sometimes things don’t work out, you lose stuff, you lose. And during those times, there come circumstances we can’t control that put us upside down, making things even worse, taking away even the little that we thought we had left. Life gives you an umbrella when it’s sunny and it takes it away when it starts pouring, just like the banks…
I always loved the opening of the novel. It amazes me how in just a few words there could be said so much. It is such a dark story, right from the beginning. Everyone in it is a prisoner, either literally or figuratively. Prisoners of the living in a world of death.