A tale of two cities

Posted on March 9, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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In Charles Dickens’ catalogue lies a central place occupied by a tale of two cities. In a weird twist, Dickens, who spent most of his literary career writing the exploits of London losers, also wrote a novel glazed in the public thoughts as synonymous with the French revolution. Written in 1859, a tale of two cities was published in weekly instalments in his Dickens journal. As families read it by the firelight, crowds readily waited for the next edition to be released.  The book is an exploration of conditions that will thrive as long as violence and inequity are present. Though the book is social criticism, it also explores human justice’s limits and the meaning of justice. This paper seeks to review and give self-opinion to the named book.

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A tale of two cities begins with the most famous opening lines in western literature. The novel spans years, explains its characters’ growth, and puts together a narrative through a truly riotous time. The French revolution is the setting for this tale of betrayal, love, and the misunderstanding between social classes. Starting from1775, Mr. Lorry, the English banker, takes Lucie Manette to recover her father, serving a Bastille sentence and thought dead for a long time. Manette resigned to making shoes while living in a room belonging to a wine seller in Paris. The reunion with his daughter helps him regain his faculties and the three return to London. After five years, the three appear in a court case of Charles Darnay, a man suspected of being a French spy (Charles, 2017). Charles is innocent and makes friends with the Manettes following their testimonials and his strong defence. 

The author then introduces the ruling class of France in the form of Monseigneur and Marquis. Following pomp and circumstance, he is the epitome of how aristocrats treat the lower level. In one scene, a child is accidentally killed by the Marquis with his carriage while driving at high speed, and he is angry that the parents let the child get in the way (Charles, 2017). From this, it is clear that the Marquis disregards the lives of the poor. It was later revealed that he is Charles’s uncle, and after a misunderstanding, Charles abandons his title as a noble before leaving his uncle to be killed by the dead child’s father. On another occasion, the poor are depicted through Mr Cruncher in London, Mr Lorry’s messenger. He is not learned and trusts that his wife prays for his lousy luck though he works hard to afford a better life for his son. In Paris, Monsieur DeFarge and his wife own a wine shop that houses and provides a safe anchorage for revolutionaries. They assist the plan and participate in the revolution, including storming the Bastille and setting up a new authority.

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As the years go by, Charles and Lucy get closer, get married, and have kids. On a trip to France, Charlie is imprisoned as an immigrant from London and put on trial. For his daughters’ sake, Doctor Manette takes advantage of his influence in the country to win Charles’s freedom (Charles, 2017). Later, a story is told that connects all of them to an event in the past that reveals Darnay’s connection to the upper class. It is then that a plot is created to free Charles. The novel frames the French revolution around the characters and brings them to a personal perspective. The viciousness of the revolution is evident with descriptions of people hanging from fountains, heads on spikes, and a woman nicknamed Vengeance. The course is perceived as a reasonable force that sees the heads of wicked people rolling as the mob gathers to see the revolution’s success. 

The most offensive savagery, intense human love, redemption, and fear, a surreal revenger, and a heroine, two families with dark secrets, two cities all in the massacre setting, was the French revolution. Just like all great stories, a tale of two cities comprises of best times and worst times. The brilliance of the account is its capacity to intimately draw the audience into the characters’ tangled lives, injured by the historical tyrannies of their time, and the ability to use their story as a fable to understand human narrative wholly. This is probably why Dickens believed that the book would be his masterpiece, mostly because it felt like it was his most explicit statement of his true beliefs.  A small family’s struggles are eye-catching to the reader to understand people’s broader efforts in general. The reader learns about France’s violence and chaos during the French revolution and the darkness and sin affecting the human race. From this tale, principles that will prove right for all times and places are easily understood.

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 Dickens writes that the French nobility’s cruelty birthed the French revolution since all things are produced according to their kind. He also states that evil begets evil. Although this is a tale of humanity, restoration and revival are evident throughout the novel. For instance, Darnay’s mother, even as an aristocrat, once pursued to make compensation for something fierce her husband had done. This lady is briefly mentioned in the book, but the influence she has on her son changed the course of her son and the whole novel profoundly. A reflection on the truth of really like is also reflected in Dickens’s writing style. For example, each scene in the book is significant to the story, though, for the first half of the novel, the reader cannot figure out how everything will fall in place. However, by the end of it, everything comes to light, and the reader can look back and see the reason for each scene. Like this, as we live each day, we do not understand the reason for various scenes we find ourselves in. even though it never makes sense completely until heaven, there comes a time when all is brought together. The purpose behind puzzling circumstances is evident. 

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When Dickens’s style is closely looked into, this novel is written to wrench at the heartstrings. However, this is not done in a manipulative way, but in the most direct way possible by giving a straightforward account of events in every scene. Yet, any anxious reader will be significantly moved in numerous settings. The author does this by projecting his statements on the human element, the actual drive in the story. Every page in this book is woven into the message that each person counts. Sacrificing for the community is highlighted as barbaric. Another stroke of excellence in the mysterious way that Dickens portrays evil. For instance, when Madame DeFarge becomes everything she hates. She becomes this from something terrible done to her siblings by the aristocracy when she was young. Yet, when the tale comes to an end, it is said that she put both men and women to death, not cari9ng that they may be innocent, or if they left behind and relatives. The only thing she cares about is that more people die, and she is not satisfied. 

I also think that Dickens makes constant use of an effective storytelling strategy since many characters that are mentioned return to own large parts in the story that often cause a significant drift. For instance, Solomon is revealed to be John Barsad, a man present in Charles’s trial in London earlier in the book. He is a spy who showed up at the wine shop with Cly, his friend, who was thought to be dead and had a fake funeral. The lie is revealed when Mr. Cruncher confesses to robbing his grave and could only find stones. Such fine details of two characters looking so similar that it is weird, is also central to various plot points and the climax. 

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In conclusion, a tale of two cities expresses humans at their best and their worst. Overflows with 19th-century language and compelling characters, and as such, this is not a book for the faint-hearted. Dickens writes with a little bias towards his country people, yet this does not detract from the emotional story presented so well in its scenes. The novel deserves to be in many ‘to read’ lists since, from the above discussion, it is worth the emotional and provisional investment to look into the tale of the French revolution and the lives of those swept up by it. The novel ends with Sydney Carton executed along with other French prisoners. Even though Carton does not have a chance to make a final speech, Dickens brings the tale to an end by imagining what he was likely to say. Carton led a lonely and challenging life and dies in a much similar manner. Likewise, the French revolution is doing more harm without showing signs of progress. Having Carton foresee a future where sacrifice will allow his loved ones to be happy and prosperous and where France will finally have peace and order ends the novel with a sense of optimism rather than dejection. 

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Charles, D. (2017). A tale of two cities. Рипол Классик.

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