It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way …
A Tale of Two Cities, by C1 D2, deals with the major themes of duality, rev3, and res4. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in L5 and P6, as economic and political unrest lead to the American and French Revolutions. The main characters in Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities — Doctor Alexandre M7, Charles D8, and Sydney C9 — are all recalled to life, or res10, in different ways as turmoil erupts.
Genres: h11 f12
Setting: L13 and P14 , 1775-1792
Major Symbols: Madame Defarge's Knitting
The three most important aspects of A Tale of Two Cities:
A Tale of Two Cities is told from the o15, or all-knowing, point of view. The narrator, or storyteller, who is never identified, has access to the thoughts and feelings of all the characters.
A Tale of Two Cities, written by Charles Dickens, is set in L16 and in P17 and the French c18 at the time of the French Revolution. The book is sympathetic to the overthrow of the French aristocracy but highly critical of the reign of t19 that followed.
Dickens characterizes the men and women who populate A Tale of Two Cities less by what the book's narrator or the characters themselves s20, and more by what they d21.
1 Charles 2 Dickens
3 revolution 4 resurrection
5 London 6 Paris
7 Manette 8 Darnay
9 Carton 10 resurrected
11 historical 12 fiction
13 London 14 Paris
16 London 17 Paris
20 say 21 do
Scholars describe A Tale of Two Cities as the least Dickensian of Dickens' novels, yet it remains one of Dickens' most widely read books.
Dickens took a different approach to writing A Tale of Two Cities than to his previous novels and described the book as an experiment. Rather than relying upon d22 to develop characters, Dickens instead relied upon the plot. Consequently, the characters are defined by their a23 and by their place within the movement of the overall story. Critics have complained that this technique results in a loss of Dickens' strengths in his writing, including his sense of h24 and his memorable c25. They agree, however, that Dickens' experiment created his most tightly plotted novel, in which the narrative moves along quickly and smoothly. The book's well-conceived structure neatly blends all of the storylines and characters, so that by the end of the book, no question remains as to how each element of the book impacts all the others.
24 humour 25 characters
Dickens' social ideas in this novel are straightforward: the French Revolution was inevitable because the aristocracy exploited and plundered the poor, driving them to r26. Therefore, oppression on a large scale results in anarchy, and anarchy produces a police state. One of Dickens' strongest convictions was that the English people might erupt at any moment into a mass of bloody r27. It is clear today that he was mistaken, but the idea was firmly planted in his mind, as well as in the minds of his contemporaries. A Tale of Two Cities was partly an attempt to show his readers the dangers of a possible revolution. This idea was not the first time a simple — and incorrect — conviction became the occasion for a serious and powerful w28 of a29.
28 work 29 art
If the terrors of the French Revolution take a political form, the hope that Dickens holds out in this novel has distinct r30 qualities. On a basic level, A Tale of Two Cities is a fable about resurrection, depicting the main characters, Doctor Manette, Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton, as all being "recalled to life" in different ways.
The Doctor regains his f31 and s32, Darnay escapes a d33 sentence three times, and Carton redeems his soul through s34. By using the theme of r35, Dickens demonstrates that the spiritual lives of all people depend upon the hope of renewal. Without such hope, as in the case of Madame Defarge, people lose what makes them human and resort to violence and cruelty.