Insights into Book III, Chapter 1 *The Track of the Storm*

Insights into Book III,
“The Track of the Storm”
Note the title of Book the Third: “The
Track of the Storm.”
Keep in mind that Dickens is, of
course, being metaphorical—and
that the storm that is being tracked is
the storm of the “sea” (the Third
Estate’s Revolution)
The first chapter of Chapter 1 of
Book III is entitled “In Secret.” Make
sure that (by the time you’ve finished
reading the chapter) you fully
understand what “in secret” means.
(Your guess will be confirmed at the
bottom of page 261.)
Make sure you understand to whom
the narrator is referring on page 251
when he says “the traveller.”
(Go back to the end of Book II (p.
247) if you’re not sure--and then
confirm your decision in the second
paragraph on page 251.)
Make note of the phrase
“Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity, or Death” on
page 251.This phrase was
the official slogan of the
Third Estate’s Revolution.
(See the authentic
revolutionary poster at
left—which, of course, is in
These four words were the cry of the
French Revolutionaries in and around
1789. One of their critics fairly accurately
reinterpreted the cry as 'Be my brother, or
I kill you.’
The phrase 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity'
is still found (in French) on French
currency and elsewhere to this day.
The “tri-colored cockade”
mentioned on page 252 will
be seen several times from
now until the end of the
novel. It was a cloth rosette
or knot of ribbon worn
especially on the hat as a
badge (a symbol that you
were a revolutionary).
The “tri-colored” signifies the
color of the French
revolution: red, white, and
Notice (on pages 252 and following)
the hostility that the revolutionaries
have toward Charles—and how they
take custody of him as soon as he
sets foot in France. This quite
contrasts with the idealistic view that
he had of making things better in
On page 256, Charles ends up being
confined. Be sure you understand
where he was confined—and for
what reason.
Also be sure that you note the
coincidence of the guard to whom he
is handed over—a guard who knows
By the middle of page 257, a new device
has been born. Make sure you know what
that device is—and that you notice that
the revolutionaries are swearing in the
name of this instrument (instead of
swearing in the name of God). We see
that a new religion, therefore, is being
born in France—and it’s the religion that
worships this new instrument.
On page 262, Charles is doing exactly
what Dr. Manette did when HE was
confined: finding repetitive behavior that is
comforting; however, whereas Dr.
Manette made shoes, Charles paces his
cell. (That, of course, is what the “Five
paces by four and a half” is.)