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A Tale of Two Cities

Honors LA 10

Jonathan Nguyen

on 7 May 2013

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Transcript of A Tale of Two Cities

Written By Charles Dickens
Presentation by Jonathan Nguyen Plot College-Bound Reading List Personal Opinion The End Literary Merit Plot Summary Born in the 19th century, Charles Dickens was one of the greatest writers of his time. His early life experience of childhood poverty and loneliness lead to his views on social reforms depicted through his several novels Imagery I do not think that A Tale of Two Cities should be placed on the College-Bound Reading List. This books has a very good plot and is historically accurate, however, its literary merit is somewhat lacking in helping understand the author's purpose. The imagery makes its especially difficult as I feel like there is an overuse to the extent that it is a nuisance. The author's diction and symbolism is very interesting but it does not help bring out the author's purpose either. I personally did not like the book as a whole, perhaps because it was written so long ago, but it took a lot of effort to understand. The plot was very clever and fascinating but there was too much unnecessary imagery in between. I would not recommend this book to other people unless they really like literature and history. Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness 1812-1870 Historical Background The Tale of Two Cities, although fictional, was set during the time of the French Revolution. Because Charles Dickens did not live during this time and did not receive much eduction, he rely much his friend, Thomas Carlyle, book History of the French Revolution. Climax Rising Action Falling action In the beginning of the story, it is 1775 and a agent for the Tellson's Bank, Mr. Lorry, has met up with a young woman named Lucie Manette after a property dispute. There he reveals to her that her father, Dr. Manette which she believed was dead, is actually alive, imprisoned in the Bastile in France. Together they go find him and bring him back the England. Five years later in 1790, a man named Charles Darney is on trial for treason. Lucie and Dr. Manette are both present as unwilling witnesses against him. However, with their help, as well as his lawyers cleverness, he is eventually acquitted. In the following years, Charles Darney, as well as his lawyers, Mr. Stryver and Sydney Carton become close to the Manette family and all find themselves falling in love with Lucie. Even though Carton confesses to Lucie first, Lucie marries Darney in the end and they have a child. Exposition Freytag's Triangle of A Tale of Two Cities In France, the lower classes are becoming restless and Charles Darney's uncle, Marquis St. Evremonde is murdered for his crimes against the people. It now 1792 and the revolution in France has escalated greatly as the present have captured and killed many nobles. In England, Darney receive a letter to Marquis St. Evremonde which actual is Darney's real name. It from another noble who is capture and requesting help. Darney goes to help but is captured as well. Darney goes on trial, but with the help of Dr. Manette who later arrives, he is aquitted. However, Darney is again taken into custody for crimes by the Defarges, a couple who is revealed to be in charge of the revolution in order to seek revenge for their dead family members many years before. Darney is again put on trial and sentenced to death. The night before Darney's it to be brought to the guillotine, Sydney Carton, who look very similar to Darney, sneaks into Darney's cell and switches with him. Carton does this because he still loves Lucie and was willing to sacrifice anything for her. The next day, Carton along with may others is taken to the guillotine and although the others a visible afraid, Carton calmly excepts his fate and fearlessly walks up to the guillotine and is killed. The Manettes along with Darney and Mr. Lorry are all able to safely escape France and return back to England where they are able to live happily thanks to Carton's sacrifice. The author, Charles Dickens uses very extensive imagery all throughout A Tale of Two Cities. The narrator's point of view is omniscient, therefore the scenes often switch between characters and cities. Whenever a new scene or character is introduced, the author always explains in great detail every aspect so that the reader can easily imagine the scene. "...standing to receive him by the table between them and the fire, a young lady of not more than seventeen, in a riding-cloak, and still holding her straw travelling-hat by its ribbon, in her hand. As his eyes rested on a short, slight-pretty figure, a quantity of golden hair, a pair of blue eyes that met his own with an inquiring look, and a forehead with a singular capacity (remembering how young and smooth it was) of lifting and knitting itself into an expression that was not one of perplexity, or wonder or alarm or merely of a bright fixed expression..." (page 23) Symbolism Dickens does not use symbolism often throughout A Tale of Two Cities, he did use one at the beginning of the book to foreshadow the future events in the story. Early in the story, the author depicts a scene which a large cask of wine had broken in Paris and the red wine ran through the streets. Seeing this, the peasants and townspeople rushed out to drink up as much as possible. They celebrated as they drank the expensive and rare alcohol right off the ground. This action is a key symbol of the future events to come as blood will take the place of the wine and flow all throughout France during the revolution. A Tale of Two Cities is a story about a family, the Manettes, who are ultimately fated to face in the struggles and sacrifices that must be made during the French Revolution
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