A Tale of Two Cities

Book reports
Paper Title:
A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities Dickens, Charles Appleton Library 266 pp. The main
purpose of this book is to show the contrasts between the peaceful city of
London and the city of Paris, tearing itself apart in revolution. This is
apparent in the very first line of the book, “It was the best of times, it
was the worst of times….” This is a contrast of the two cities, London,
the tranquil home of Mr. Lorry and the Darnays’; and Paris, the center of a
bloody revolution. The author shows gentleness in these violent times in the
persons of Dr. and Lucie Mannette, both gentle and peaceful. He also
characterizes the evil side of the revolution in the apathetic and depraved
Misuser and Mademoiselle Defarge, who go about their business while death carts
roll– as do heads– through the streets of Paris. He does though, depict a ray
of light amongst all this evil; the heroic Carton, who gave his life for his
friend and a woman he knew he would never have. The biggest contrast of all, is
in the person of Misuser Darnay, the gentle English family man, who is also
related to the evil Marquis Evremonde. I personally like stories that use
historical events as backdrops because it brings these seemingly distant events
closer to us. This book definitely offers insight into life in the two cities at
the time of the French Revolution. I think it does an excellent job of depicting
just how completely engulfed some people became in the revolution. It shows how
people were blinded by the desire for freedom from their former oppressors, so
much so, that they attacked anyone and anything that was even remotely related
to their past rulers. I think this was effectively done by excellent
characterization, using each character to depict a different aspect of society,
then contrasting them by making them rivals. I really took away a different view
of that time period. Some of the language he used was definitely outdated, yet
precisely what you would expect for a novel of that time period. I was able to
follow the story fairly well, although there were a few times, in switching back
and forth between cities, that I got a little lost Still on the whole I liked
the way the story flowed. Unlike some stories of that time, there wasn’t really
any profanity or taking of God’s name in vain, which is always good to see.

There are other Dickens books that I have liked more, but I still thought this
was a very good example of his work. I thought the style was pretty consistent
with other books by Dickens I’ve read. It seems he uses characters to symbolize
traits of people quite often, like Tiny Tim symbolizing innocence in the
Christmas Carol to contrast Scrooge’s unkindness. I thought the setting,
combined with the title and characterization, provided an in-depth look at the
time period of the French Revolution and the events around it. It starts with
the title, which is appropriate for obvious reasons, those being that the story
shifts between London and Paris quite often. The description of the settings
really added to the experience of the time period. The way he described the
prison cells, the area around the guillotine, and beautiful house of the Darnays’
helped promote the contrasts between the cities, as well as put you right into
the story. As far as suspense goes, there really wasn’t much, so if you’re
looking to be kept on the edge of your seat, then I wouldn’t really recommend
this. However, this book has an fantastically intricate plot, and a pretty good
ending. Overall I liked this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone who
likes Dickens and is also interested by the time period surrounding the French
Revolution. However, if you’re looking for a cliffhanger full of action, this
isn’t really the book for you. Word Count: 659
Book Reports

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A Tale Of Two Cities

A Tale Of Two Cities Throughout the book, A Tale of Two Cities the theme of sacrifice is used to help the reader realize the cost of life, as well as to develop the plot through the effects of those sacrifices. Through the characters of Sydney Carton, Dr. Manette, and Ms. Pross the theme of sacrifice is developed. The theme of sacrifice brings key aspects of the plot together, and Carton’s sacrifice brings the novel to closer in the end.

Sydney Carton paid the highest cost of sacrifice with his life, and in doing so he was very similar to Jesus Christ. Carton laid down his life for a man who had never done anything for him and who in fact had abused his relationship as demonstrated on page 191 when Carton describes himself in Darnay’s view as a dissolute dog who has never done any good, and never will. Similarly Jesus Christ let himself be beaten, abused, and killed for the same people who spit in his face. Other people in both cases thought that Jesus and Carton were not thought to be much more that dogs, while they both sacrificed their lives so these people who treated them like dogs could live. Both Carton’s and Jesus’ sacrifice was inspired by a deep desperate love for which they were willing to do anything. Carton was willing to die for Lucie because of his desperate, scandalous love for her, just as Jesus showed his love for man when he was willing to give up his life for every man.

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This level of love makes the sacrifice even more valuable and brings things to closure. Finally, Carton and Jesus both knew that through their sacrifice, others could have life. Carton’s death breathed life into Darnay just as Jesus Christ’s death breathes life into those who trust in him. The importance of their death is that it brings life. The role of Carton’s sacrifice in the plot is that the cost of life is sometimes high. Through his sacrifice the cost and privilege of living can be measured, just as Christians can see the true cost and privilege of life through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Dr.

Manette also sacrificed much of his life by giving up his own personal goals and agenda for Lucie. On page 125 Dr. Manette says, any fancies, any reasons, and apprehensions, anything whatsoever, new or old against the man she really loved .. they shall all be obliterated for her sake. Dr. Manette was willing to relinquish his own personal feelings or perhaps rights so that Lucie may be happy.

He set aside, anything whatsoever in order for Lucie to marry the man she loves. Dr. Manette did anything he could to save Darnay from death, even to the point where Madame Defarge mocked him saying, Save him now, my Doctor save him! Dr. Manette had always been suspicious about Darnay, but he put aside his doubts in to Make Lucie happy. Deep down he knew that Darnay was an Evermond, but he sacrificed his own feelings for Lucie’s feelings. Thirdly, Dr.

Manette gave up all of his desires, hopes, thoughts of revenge for Lucie, as demonstrated when he says, She is everything to me; more to me than suffering, more to me than wrong, more to me .. . Dr. Manette had years of anger and revenge stored up him from when he was imprisoned, yet he forgot about all of it and only tried to make Lucie happy and make up for the many years he had lost. Dr.

Manette’s pain was so great that he often reverts to the insanity that was caused from his imprisonment, while he still does everything he can even though his pain is so great that he can not physically control it. Manette laid down his life so that Lucie could fully live. Ms. Pross sacrificed her life day by day for Lucie to have a better life. Ms. Pross simply devoted her life to Lucie, and her well being which is shown when Mr.

Lorry describes Ms. Pross’s devotion, there is nothing better in the world than the faithful service of the heart; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint (87). Ms. Pross was sacrificed things everyday by simply being devoted to Lucie. She did everything she could so that Lucie could have the best possible life.

Ms. Pross’s devotion is demonstrated once again on page 86 when she is described as, one of those unselfish creatures found only among women who will for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain and to bright hopes that never shined upon their own somber lives. Ms. Pross sacrificed her hopes and dreams so that Lucie might have her own hopes and dreams fulfilled. Ms. Pross did not have all the beauty and fortune in the world, but she lived so that Lucie might someday.

Ms. Pross’s ultimate sacrifice of devotion was when she put her own life at risk to save Lucie’s along with others, as she struggled with Madame Defarge to protect their safety. Because Ms. Pross was diligent enough to make sure that Lucie’s trip was safe; Lucie’s life was saved, at what could have cost Ms. Pross her life.

By Ms. Pross’s willingness to do anything for Lucie, Lucie’s life was saved. Ultimately, it was the sacrifices made by people like Ms. Pross and Sydney Carton that allowed people to live. Through their numerous sacrifices, the value of life is measured in A Tale of Two Cities, and their sacrifices give life to a time that was filled with much more death than life. Just as Jesus’ sacrifice allowed people to have life, the sacrifices of Dr.

Manette, Ms. Pross, and Carton allowed people to live. English Essays.

A Tale Of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities A Tale of Two Cities has long been one of Charles Dickens’ most favored books. This book opens in the year 1775 by contrasting two cities: Paris, France and London, England. Throughout this story various characters are “recalled to life”, meaning that they have had a new chance at life. Dr. Manette is clearly mad after being in prison for eighteen years. When Lucie, the Dr.’s daughter, and Mr. Lorry eventually nurse the doctor back to a healthy state and out of his insane state they had “recalled him to life.” Dr.

Manette was nursed from an insane state with no real life to a sane one with a very functional life. In doing this Lucie and Mr. Lorry, in a way, gave Dr. Manette’s life back to him or “recalled him to life.” Another instance in which someone is “recalled to life” involves Charles Darnay. Charles Darnay is on trial for treason in England(Book 2, Ch.2-4). C.J Stryver and Sydney Carton are representing Darnay in this trial.

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Sydney Carton saves Darnay from death in this trial with his miraculous wits. Through this Darnay is given another chance at life ,and therefore was “recalled to life.” The last and most significant instance of someone being “recalled to life” is found in the last chapters of this book. Sydney Carton has recently switched places with his look alike, Darnay, and is awaiting the guillotine. While Sydney awaits his death he thinks, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, then I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” Through these words Sydney recognizes that by sacrificing his life for Darnay, a loved one of Lucie, he will be doing the best thing that he has ever done and can do. Sydney is finally satisfied with himself, he is no longer a drunken fool, but a hero that now can live or die with himself. By dying, and saving Darnay for Lucie, Sydney Carton is “recalled to life.” Throughout this book “recalled to life” has been the most important theme.

Almost all of the main characters in this novel were “recalled to life.” This theme was the most important because it allowed us, the readers, to see the characters trates being used by them and to understand how much a character would do for another. When Carton represented Darnay on trial and saved his life we saw how smart Carton was. In the last instance of “recalled to life” we saw how much Carton really felt for Lucie when he saved Lucie’s husbands life in return for his own. The theme “recalled to life” is seen throughout this novel and should be recognized as one of the most important.


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