The Novel "A Tale of Two Cities" a Spectacular Read by Charles Dickens


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The novel “A Tale of Two Cities” was a spectacular read by Charles Dickens. The book opens in 1775 sometime before the French Revolution where Jarvis Lorry has news that Lucie Manette’s father Doctor Manette wasn’t dead but was imprisoned in a Bastille located in Paris for eighteen years and left for dead. 

Lucie went with Mr.Lorry to meet her father who was staying in Monsieur and Madame Defarge’s Bar, they both happened to be revolutionists, Doctor Manette was imprisoned for so long he went crazy and was always making shoes. Although after seeing and spending time with his daughter he regained his sanity. Five years have passed and Doctor Manette and Lucie Manette are witnesses at Charles Darnay’s trial for having:

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“assisted Lewis, the French King, in his wars against our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth; that was to say, by coming and going, between the dominions of our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, and those of the said French Lewis, and wickedly, falsely, traitorously, and otherwise evil-adverbiously, revealing to the said French Lewis what forces our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, had in preparation to send to Canada and North America.”

This brings me to the politics of the novel, in the present, trials are more in-depth and must have a lot more evidence to actually go to trial due to the advancements of technology and knowledge from then too now. In the novel, during the trial, there was never any solid evidence papers of any type of treason ever existed, even though they were papers relinquishing his titles and property in France so he can make a new life in England. The only reason Charles trial was saved is because of a found out paid witness and Charles lucky found doppelganger mid-trial. I’m glad that humanity has advanced so much, but some of the past is still the same.

The society of this novel starts peaceful but slowly progresses to take a turn for the worst. The main pivotal point of that progress was Marquis Evrémonde’s carelessness and inhumane actions towards a peasant boy and his father. Evrémonde was riding in his coach when it ran over and killed the little boy but instead of giving the father Apologies or regrets then proceeded to say “It is extraordinary to me … that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. 

One or the other of you is for ever in the, way. How do I know what injury you have done my horses. See! Give him that.” Then he threw a gold coin to the ground towards the man in the most distasteful way. What’s sad is that still happens in today’s society people just throw money at other people’s problems like that solves it all. Though later on in the novel the father gets fed up and kills Evrémonde.

In the novel, you may not pick up on it but there are some discrete but very important signs of religion. Some proof of this being how Dickens keeps referring to the phrase “recalled to life” which is major foreshadowing to Sydney Carton. Sydney was a part of Darnay’s defense in his first trial and also the lucky doppelganger, but later in the novel, he will become his hero. 

Sydney was never fond of religion but on the way to Darnay’s cell (who has been arrested three times in the novel, two of them being back to back) he kept repeating the verse of eternal life, “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.” furthermore foreshadowing what’s about to come.

Everyone in the novel had their culture and customs but Sydney felt as if he had none because of what he said earlier in the story in a bar while drunk, “I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me.” Which to me is another foreshadowing moment to his heroic act because it makes Sydney sound like he has nothing to lose. 

Later on in the novel, Sydney is on his way to Darnay’s cell, he’s about to be executed by the Guillotine the next morning when Sydney arrives at Darnay’s cell that night Sydney switches coats, vests, and hairstyles then knocks Darney out and has him carried out of the prison trading lives with Sydney so that Darnay may survive.

In the end, the novel gave me everything I could possibly ask for in a story love, action, plot twist, and a tragic hero. Darnay falls in love with Lucie. The murder of Marquis Evrémonde happens, then the french revolution began (not right after each other). Darnay gets to live with Lucie in peace when he woke, and Sydney came to peace with himself and his terms to sacrifice himself all the way until his head was severed from his body. 

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