What is a tale of two cities about

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what is a tale of two cities about

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

My primary goal when Im teaching A Tale of Two Cities to my sophomores is to make them realize that Charles Dickens didnt write creaky, dusty long novels that teachers embraced as a twisted rite of passage for teenagers. Instead, I want them them to understand why Dickens was one of the most popular writers in England and America during his time. I want them to see the book as the suspenseful, comedic, and sentimental piece of entertainment that it is. Because, while A Tale of Two Cities is masterfully written with sly humor, densely meaningful descriptions, a cast of quirky characters only Dickens could create, an endless series of telling binaries and foils, and relevant social commentary about the French Revolution as well as Dickens time, it is also simply a damn good story. By a damn good storyteller.

I have a difficult time writing reviews about books that I adore because, when Im not reading them, I hug them too closely to be very critical. (BTW - I frequently hug A Tale of Two Cities in front of my students... and write Charles Dickens name with hearts around it... They think Im crazy, but it intrigues some of them just enough to make them doubt the derisive comments of upperclassmen.) I reluctantly admit that Dickens does oversimplify the causes of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror; however, in doing so, he successfully captures the spirit of a tumultuous period and helps readers sympathize with characters on every side of the developing conflict. I also think that the characters of Roger Cly and John Barsad get a bit messy and may have worked better as a single character. Perhaps the confusion is a result of serialization restructuring. But, really, I read A Tale of Two Cities like a costumed Lord of the Rings fan at a movie premier. I cheer when my favorite characters enter scenes and I knowingly laugh when Dickens cleverly foreshadows future events.

Though I dont think that A Tale of Two Cities is Dickens best novel--that title I would reserve for either Bleak House or David Copperfield--I do agree with Dickens, who claims that it was his best story. It is artfully written. Dickens introduces a cast of characters, sprawled across two nations and spanning varied social classes and political affiliations, and then effortlessly weaves their stories and secrets together in a masterful way. The Modernist movement painstakingly forced literature to reflect the ambiguities and uncertainties of the real world and thats great, but sometimes it is a real joy to read a story that ends with such magnificent closure. All mysteries are solved and everything makes sense. It is beautiful.

(I have to admit that I was overjoyed when a group of my fifth period girls persistently voiced their disdain for Dickens angel in the house Lucie and backed Madame Defarge. I think they may have created a Madame Defarge myspace, actually. Oh how the times have changed.)

Ms. R--, you got me. What? At the beginning of this book, you said you would get some of us. And that we would love it. You got me. I didnt get you G--. Charles Dickens did. I just introduced you.

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A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
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Published 04.01.2019

Video SparkNotes: Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities summary

A Tale of Two Cities

Feb 06, ISBN With dramatic eloquence, he brings to life a time of terror and treason, a starving people rising in frenzy and hate to overthrow a corrupt and decadent regime. With insight and compassion, Dickens casts his novel of unforgettable scenes with some memorable characters: the sinister Madame Defarge, knitting her patterns of death; the gentle Lucie Manette, unswerving in her devotion to her broken father; Charles Darnay, the lover with a secret past; and dissolute Sydney Carton, whose unlikely heroism gives his life meaning. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to… More about Charles Dickens. Though its version of the French Revolution is brutally simplified, its engagement with the immense moral themes of rebirth and terror, justice, and sacrifice gets right to the heart of the matter. For every reader in the past hundred and forty years and for hundreds to come, it is an unforgettable ride.

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Who'd have guessed it, eh? As our novel starts, a very businessman-like British gentleman makes his way into the heart of Paris., The story is set in the late 18th century against the background of the French Revolution. The scenes of large-scale mob violence are especially vivid, if superficial in historical understanding.

The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie, whom he had never met. The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Dickens' famous opening sentence introduces the universal approach of the book, the French Revolution, and the drama depicted within:. 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—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. In , a man flags down the nightly mail-coach on its route from London to Dover. The man is Jerry Cruncher , an employee of Tellson's Bank in London; he carries a message for Jarvis Lorry , a passenger and one of the bank's managers. Lorry sends Jerry back to deliver a cryptic response to the bank: "Recalled to Life.

Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis. Here's where you'll find analysis about the book as a whole, from the major themes and ideas to analysis of style, tone, point of view, and more. Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of the book by reading these key quotes. Test your knowledge of A Tale of Two Cities with our quizzes and study questions, or go further with essays on context, background, and movie adaptations, plus links to the best resources around the web. Get ready to write your paper on A Tale of Two Cities with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more. COM Buy Now.

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