In the context of the varied uses of hypallage in poetry and fiction, this paper discusses hypallage as “epithet transfer” in Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. Pointing to an overlap of “epithet transfer” with metaphor, metonymy, personification, and enthymeme, as well as to its difference from such tropes, the paper analyzes the local effects of this form of hypallage and comments on its general effect as reducing the mechanical constituent of the reading process (Herbert Spencer) while creating the conditions for a prolonged aesthetic lingering on detail (Victor Shklovsky). It goes on to show that, in addition to serving as a short-cut conceptual blend, useful in addressing the audience familiar with the history of the French Revolution, in A Tale of Two Cities “epithet transfer” is aesthetically appropriate to the novel's pattern of the transfer of fate—bestowing on one character the fate that logical determinacies are expected to reserve for another.

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