In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens describes the hunger that haunted and plagued the poor, by employing visually compelling metaphors. Hunger's a plant and its seeds are "ploughed" into the wrinkles of the young and the old, who age precociously working at the mill. It's "pushed out of tall houses" like an uninvited guest. It's "patched" into threadbare clothing. Hunger is everywhere. It's in the shortage of food on display in the shops. It's in the lack of chimney smoke and in the absence of offal refuse. Hunger's "dry bones" rattle inside "the roasting chestnut cylinder".
Dickens breathes life into things. He uses words to make them come alive. He gives physical attributes to feelings, and he gives feelings to physical entities - hunger has a skeleton while oil drops are "reluctant".
If language defines the limits to our world, reading Dickens is the equivalent of living inside a universe that expands with every line.
"...The mill which had worked them down, was the mill that grinds young people old; the children had ancient faces and grave voices; and upon them, and upon the grown faces, and ploughed into every furrow of age and coming up afresh, was the sigh, Hunger. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and started up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on the baker's shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder; Hunger was shred into atomics in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil."