The events of the plot, besides building a fascinating story, help the author to express one or more themes, or ideas about life. For example, the events of the French Revolution in this novel enable Dickens to develop his ideas about the need for social justice and the horrors of violent change.
What idea about life is suggested by the events
related in Dr. Manette's manuscript?
The critic Edgar Johnson praises the intricate craftsmanship of Dickens' plot in A Tale of Two Cities, remarking that the author had never "previously plotted a novel with more skill." Nevertheless, Johnson writes, "Melodramatic coincidences ... flaw the otherwise splendid structure of the book."
Create a "morality scale," and place each of the following characters on it: Jarvis Lorry, Lucie Manette, Dr. Manette, Ernest Defarge, Therese Defarge, Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton, and the Marquis St. Evremonde. Explain why each character belongs where you have placed him or her in relation to the others.
A Tale of Two Cities Study and Response: Book the Third, Chapters 9-15 37