A tale of two cities



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A TALE OF TWO CITIES

NOTES
Historical Novel-

*A novel in which the action takes place in an historical setting before the time of the

author’s writing it.

*A historical novel tries to present the attitudes and customs of the times accurately.

* Also, the main character usually has divided loyalties which are set in the historical

context.

* The reader knows the outcome of history, but the character doesn’t. The resolution of

the conflict for the character is usually directly related to the social conflicts of the



time.
Epithets- An adjective or phrase used to define a characteristic or attribute of some person or thing.
Homeric epithet is an adjective, usually a compound adjective, repeatedly used of the same thing or person- i.e. - “the wine-dark sea” – “golden hair”.
Parallelism- A balanced arrangement of sentences or phrases suggesting some correspondence between them. i.e. - “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”- Dickens compares the two cities in the opening paragraph.



  • Dicken’s opinions of the following are evident in the novel:

    • capital punishment

    • horrors of prisons

    • dangers of mob rule

    • abuse of power

    • the ideal woman

    • horrible ways to die

    • belief in fate




  • Use of foreshadowing :

    • use of imagery to set the mood for future action

    • suggestive titles of each chapter

    • inclusion of “cliff hangers” that end of the chapters




  • Use of suspense:

    • the cliffhanger

    • the unsolved mystery

    • the life and death situation

    • concern for other characters



  • Dicken’s often exaggerates the descriptions and actions of his characters so they become caricatures for a particular class of people (stock characters)-

    • Miss Pross- loyal British servant

    • Lucie- the ideal woman

    • Jarvis Lorry – the consummate business man

    • The Defarges- zealous revolutionaries

    • Stryver- ambitious and unscrupulous people

    • The Monseigner- abusive noble


  • Use of pairs or twins in the novel:

    • Darnay and Carton

    • France and England

    • St Evermonde brothers

    • Use of mirrors




  • Use of symbols in the novel:

    • water as a symbol of life

    • color red as a symbol for blood

    • Lucie’s hair as a symbol of home




  • Themes:

    • Theme of resurrection or rebirth through sacrifice:

    • Dr Manette

    • Sydney Carton

    • Charles Darnay




  • Theme of importance of home and family:

  • Plight of the poor



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