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Noun Absolutes as Nouns
from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities
Analysis Key

1. "Now, I hear somebody's step coming (DO) {to the door}." |

The speaker does not just hear a step; he hears the step(s) coming. Thus "step coming" can be explained as a noun absolute.
2. As early {as six o'clock} {in the morning}, sallow faces peeping {through

     its barred windows} had descried other faces (DO) within. |

Without the "peeping," would the faces "descry?"
3. I am not going to guess, {at five o'clock} {in the morning}, {with my 

     brains frying and sputtering} {in my head}. |

With just his brains, he probably would guess, but not with brains frying and sputtering.
4. "I do not want it examined (DO)," [ [#1] he answered]. |
It is not that he does not want it; what he does not want is it examined.
5. A figure entering {at the door} threw a shadow (DO) {on Madame Defarge}

     [Adj. to "shadow" which she felt to be a new one [#2] ]. |

The entering throws the shadow, so it is better to  view "figure entering" as a noun absolute that functions as the subject.
6. "There's all manner (PN) {of things wanted}," [ [#1] said Miss Pross]. |
"Wanted" restricts the meaning of "things," so we can consider "things wanted" as a noun absolute.
7. What private solicitude could rear itself (DO) {against the deluge} {of the

      Year One} {of Liberty}-- the deluge rising {from below}, not falling {from

      above}, and {with the windows {of Heaven} shut, not opened }! |

"Deluge rising . . . not falling" functions as an appositive to the first "deluge." Here again it restricts the meaning of "deluge" and is essential to the meaning.
     "Shut, not opened" is as important to the meaning as is just "windows." Thus "windows . . . shut, not opened" can be explained as a noun absolute that functions as the object of "with."
8. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising (DO) {from this abyss}, | 

     and, {in their struggles} to be truly free [#3], {in their triumphs and defeats},

     {through long years} to come [#4], I see the evil {of this time} and {of

      the previous time} [Adj. to "(previous) time" {of which} this is the natural 

     birth (PN)], gradually making expiation {for itself} and wearing (DO) out. |

He does not just see a city and people; he sees them rising.
     "Expiation" is the direct object of "making." He is not concerned with seeing the evil; he is concerned with seeing the evil making expiation and wearing out. Thus we have a noun absolute that functions as the direct object of "see." (They can become complex, can't they?)
9. "There is a great crowd coming (PN) one day [NuA] {into our lives}," 

     [ [#1] Sydney Carton struck in, {in his moody way}]. |

The "coming" is as important, if not more so, than the crowd.
10. A mere beast {of the chase} flying {from hunters}, he was still {in his

      metempsychosis} no other (PA) [#5] {than the same Monseigneur}, [Adj. to 

      "Monseigneur" the preparation {of whose chocolate} {for whose lips} had 

     once occupied three strong men (DO) {besides the cook} {in question}]. |

If we accept that noun absolutes can function as nouns, then "beast . . . flying" can be seen as a noun absolute that functions as an unusual appositive that appears before the (pro)noun to which it stands in apposition.

1. KISS explains this clause as an interjection. See KISS Level 3.2.3 - Interjection? Or Direct Object?
2. The "which," which means "shadow," is the subject of the infinitive "to be," and "one" is a predicate noun to the infinitive. The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "felt."
3. "Free" is a predicate adjective after the infinitive "to be." The infinitive phrase functions as an adjective to "struggles."
4. The infinitive "to come" functions as an adjective to "years."
5. Grammarians will probably disagree with each other here, some considering "other" to be a predicate adjective; others viewing it as a pronoun that functions as a predicate noun. If we prefer the latter, "no" should probably be considered an adjective.