Literary analysis: A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens takes place during the French Revolution. The year is 1775, and social ills plague both France and England. Dickens stresses dramatically about the chaos of the Revolutionary France by using images of the ocean. The Paris mob Charles calls the living sea, and compares Ernest Defarge to a man caught in a whirlpool. The main characteristics of A Tale of Two Cities that sets apart from Dickens are other novels are its historical setting.
A tale of Two Cities has initially three symbols throughout the story. The symbols are; The Broken Wine Cask, outside Defarge's wine-shop, with his portrayal of the passing peasants scrambles to clean up the spilling wine, Dickens symbolizes this for the quality of the peoples hunger. The hunger of the people is both literal for the hunger of food. The French peasants were starving in their poverty and the metaphorical hunger for the political freedoms. Madame Defarge's knitting; this constitutes a symbol of itself, representing the stealthy, cold blooded vengefulness of the revolutionaries. Madame Defarge sits quietly knitting, she appears harmless and quaint. She sentences her victims to death. The Marquis, this is a less believable character than the archetype of an evil and corrupt social order. He is appeared to not only be overly self indulgent but also, evidence by the train of attendants who help him to drink his chocolate; he is also completely indifferent to the lives of the peasants whom he exploits, as evidenced by his lack of sympathy for the father of the child whom his carriage tramples to death. These symbols help explain the story and will help people reading it understand it better.
The characters are the ones who generally make up the story. The main characters are Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette, and Madame Defarge. Charles Darnay, chooses to live in England because he cannot bear to be associated with the cruel injustices of the French social system. Darnay displays great virtue in his rejection of the snobbish and cruel values of his uncle, the Marquis Evrmonde. He exhibits an admirable honesty in his decision to reveal to Doctor Manette his true identity as a member of the infamous Evrmonde family. So, too, does he prove his courage in his decision to return to Paris at great personal risk to save the imprisoned Gabelle. Lucie Manette, Lucie was raised as a ward of Tellson's Bank because her parents were assumed dead. Dickens depicts Lucie as an archetype of compassion. Her love has the power to bind her family togetherthe text often refers to her as the golden thread. Furthermore, her love has the power to transform those around her. It enables her father to be recalled to life, and it sparks Sydney Carton's development from a jackal into a hero. Madame Defarge, A cruel revolutionary whose hatred of the aristocracy fuels her tireless crusade, Madame Defarge spends a good deal of the novel knitting a register of everyone who must die for the revolutionary cause. Unlike her husband, she proves unrelentingly blood-thirsty, and her lust for vengeance knows no bounds.
The year is now 1780. Charles Darnay stands accused of treason against the English crown. A bombastic lawyer named Stryver pleads Darnay's case, but it is not until his drunk, good-for-nothing colleague, Sydney Carton, assists him that the court acquits Darnay. Carton clinches his argument by pointing out that he himself bears an uncanny resemblance to the defendant, which undermines the prosecution's case for unmistakably identifying Darnay as the spy the authorities spotted. Lucie and Doctor Manette watched the court proceedings, and that night, Carton escorts Darnay to a tavern and asks how it feels to receive the sympathy of a woman like Lucie. Carton despises and resents Darnay because he reminds him of all that he himself has given up and might have been.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is written throughout the 1770s.The book takes place throughout the French Revolution, and is based upon France and England. I would recommend anyone who likes classical fiction to read and follow up on this book. Charles Dickens is a wonderful writer and has explained the symbolism and themes wonderfully.