Charles Dickens, born in Portsmouth, England on February 7, 1812 wrote several books (Columbia, 2008). One such book, A Tale of Two Cities, Published 1859, is about a character being released from prison after two decades of incarceration who helps a fellow character escape from death(Dickens, 1859). A Tale of Two Cities was written during the French Revolution in the mid- 1800''s and was greatly affected by this moment in history(Cody, 2007).
During the French Revolution, republicans attempt to overthrow the monarch of Louis XVI(Nolan, 2007). This national outburst started in 1789 and ended in the latter of the 1800's, however actions had been leading up to this event for centuries (Nolan, 2007). During this time period the Bastile was overthrown, Louis XVI is executed, Napoleon finds death, and almost the entire French monarchy is undone (Nolan, 2007).
The protagonist of A Tale of Two Cities would have to be Doctor Manette (shmoop, 2008). The Dr. has been falsely imprisoned for two decades and has just been released but isn't quite ready to take up the business of living again(shmoop, 2008). His journey back into the normal world makes him the best choice for the protagonist of this novel, however Charles Darnay would be another good choice, because of his actions against the monarchy and to help Doctor Manette (Nolan, 2007). Doctor Manette tries to start a new life in England and is also reunited with his daughter(Nolan, 2007). The good doctor helps Charles Darnay escape from the guillotine (Dickens, 1859).
The antagonist of this story could be several things or people, it could be the revolution, the government, Sydney Carton, or a few others, but my choice would have to be Madame Defarge (shmoop, 2008). Madame moves from righteous and revolutionary to vengeful and bloodthirsty, of course who wouldn't be after their family is torn apart (shmoop, 2008). Her so called sense of justice may be a bit irrational but it is understandable considering the circumstances (Cody, 2007). This isn't what makes her the antagonist of this story though, Madame has a heart, if there is one, colder than Pluto itself, she even lashes out at the "perfect" Lucie and her own children (Dickens, 1859).
The major internal conflict in this story would have to be Dr. Manettes struggle with his two personalities (Columbia, 2006). On one side he seeks retribution against his false imprisonment (Wiley, 2004). On the other side he feels compassion and forgets his suffering by the love and devotion to his daughter (Wiely, 2004). In the end he somewhat forgets his suffering and joins up with Charles Darnay and his daughter (shmoop, 2007).
One major conflict in this novel would be with Madame Defarge seeking revenge against Charles Darnay for his relation to the odious Marquis Evrmonde. She tries to get revenge on him and Doctor Manette by accusing them of treason and taking them to trial, even after Doctor Manette practically saved her life. Madame Defarge even tried to kill Charles' wife after failing to get her revenge the first time, however she is killed by Miss Pross before she could harm anyone.