Novel Review A Tale of Two CitiesNicole Quint & Ebele OzomaTitle- What is its significance?Beginning with the introduction of the novel, the reader is introduced to two parallel cities, which will continue to mirror one another throughout the book. The duality of the two cities symbolizes the grave contrast in the society and citizens of each city. While London reflects calm, Paris translates chaos and this perspective fully completes the characters of each city. The title not only relates to the differing cities, but also the two sides of characters in the contrasting cities.
List 5-8 important pieces of biographical information that is directly relevant to the work and the distinguishing characteristics of the author. Include such things as socio political factors that influenced the author and the impact of his or her work. Cite your sources using MLA format.Biographical InformationSignificance to the WorkBritish”Charles Dickens.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 30 November 2017, www.
biography.com/people/charles-dickens-9274087. Accessed 27 December 2017.Dickens would be aware of the British lifestyle, thus allowing him to create characters and life in London in a more realistic way.Impoverished “Charles Dickens.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 30 November 2017, www.
biography.com/people/charles-dickens-9274087. Accessed 27 December 2017.Dickens grew up in 19th century London, and dealt with severe poverty throughout his childhood. This influenced his views on the the lower class citizens during the French Revolution. With his first hand view of poverty, his writings were more realistic and accurate to the time.
Several of the characters he created experienced a similar life as him, and they all share similar views on the privileged high- class citizens.Father Imprisoned “Charles Dickens.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 30 November 2017, www.biography.
com/people/charles-dickens-9274087. Accessed 27 December 2017.At the age of 12, Dickens’ father was sent to prison thus causing Dickens to be stripped of his childhood. Charles Dickens was then forced to leave his education and work for six shillings a week, in order to support his fatherless family. Dickens interpreted these actions as abandonment from his parents.
Dickens went through various situations of sacrifice, which is a recurring theme in many of his novels.Family Deaths”Charles Dickens.” Biography.com, A Networks Television, 30 November 2017, www.biography.com/people/charles-dickens-9274087.
Accessed 27 December 2017.Though Dickens and his wife had ten children, Dickens suffered the loss of his daughter, and around the same time he lost his father, and separated from his wife.This similar sense of loss is seen in the novel when Lucie and Charles Darnay suffer the loss of their son. Considering Dickens felt the emotions of losing a family member, he would be able to better convey the emotions of the situation.Social commentator”Charles Dickens.” Biography.com, A Networks Television, 30 November 2017, www.
biography.com/people/charles-dickens-9274087. Accessed 27 December 2017.Dickens was known for his intense views on aristocrats and often made comments in dissatisfaction to society. This dissatisfaction was highlighted in the city of Paris where the commoners/citizens eventually held an uprising against the wealthy due to the constant mistreatment.
Dickens ensured to exaggerate how distasteful the rich were to those who were impoverished, and those feelings the poor had for the rich, reflected his own.List (a bulleted list is fine) 8-12 of the most significant events of the story in chronological order . Dr.
Manette is released from prison after 18 years of solitude Jarvis Lorry reunites Lucie and Doctor Manette Darnay is tried and acquitted for treason The Marquis runs over and kills Gaspard’s son The Marquis is found murdered Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette get married Storming of the Bastille Darnay receives a letter, returns to Paris, and is imprisoned Darnay is set free, then shortly imprisoned and is sentenced to death Madame Defarge is shot and killed by Miss ProssSydney Carton takes the place of Darnay, and is thus executed by the guillotine Identify the significance of the opening sceneThe significance of the opening scene is to foreshadow the tension building on one side of the revolution, and the other more peaceful and calm side. It states, ” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness… .” .This provides an introduction to the contrasting cities, perspectives, and differing characteristics of mirroring characters. The opening scene holds a tone of anticipation and foreshadowing, and provides the reader with an expectation of being introduced to two contrasting sides.Identify the significance of the ending/closing sceneContrary to the opening scene, the ending scene provides the reader with a final and peaceful moment shared by the characters.
“I am the Resurrection and the Life” . As Sydney Carton repeated these words, his life ended as well as his tragedies, and the novel. This scene has much significance due to the fact that Carton was finally able to accomplish something for himself, and all seemed to be well.
Darnay and the Manette family escaped their own tragedy, and the revolution was soon coming to an end. Explain the significance of the setting.Without the creation of two differing cities, and the stark contrast of the impoverished and aristocracy, many of the novels themes would lack the ability to have been created. Set in 18th century London and Paris, the novel utilizes many of the characteristics of those times to fully create both its characters and plot.
This includes the strict aristocracy, caste system, treatment of the poor, and many of the dismal living conditions. The lack of technology, and transportation also contributes to many details of the novel. France and England during the 18th century allows for a more appropriate perspective, on the issues many of the characters face. Fill in the charts for major characters, most important characters CharacterRole in the storySignificance of the character to the workTwo adjectives describing him/herDr. ManetteManette serves as both a weak depiction of the effects of captivity, and also as a heroManette is used to show the effect of captivity, and the evils of the aristocracy. Not only does he serve as an innocent man wrongly convicted, but as he saves Darnay from death, he is also shown as a hero.BrilliantTragicLucie Manette”The Golden Thread” Lucie represents the ideal image of a women during 18th century England, and acts as the saint/ thread that holds everyone togetherLucie embodies the roles of being both a housewife and a support system for the men in her life.
This creates a contrast between her mirrored character, Madame Defarge being that they are complete opposites.CompassionateLovingJarvis LorryThe head of Tellsons Bank, and a friend of the ManettesLorry is the one who reunites Lucie and her father, and also cares for Dr.Manette during his relapses. Lorry also serves as an important worker of the bank, and is very dedicated to his business.SelflessDedicatedCharles DarnayLucie’s husband, and escaped aristocratThough Darny attempted to distance himself from his aristocrat duties, he is still convicted during the revolution. Though he served as a husband to Lucie, without his imprisonment, Carton would not had to have sacrificed his life.
ConflictedKindErnest DefargeHusband of Madame Defarge, and the “cohead” of the revolutionDefarge led many and himself in the storming of the Bastille which was one of the most significant situations of the revolution. He also serves to instruct the Jacques, and provoke them to yearn for more bloodshed.OvershadowedInfluencedMadame DefargeThe face of the revolution and Ernest’s wifeDefarge leads the women of the revolution and is often looked as being the one in charge. She is often seen knitting, and making a large contribution to the revolution.
PitilessBloodthirstyJerry CruncherHe completes various odjobsCruncher often completes many jobs for Tellsons Bank, but it is also revealed that he is a grave robber. He often beats his wife for “praying against him”, and eventually aids the Manette family.MysteriousSuperstitiousMiss ProssLucie’s caretaker and friend.
Miss Pross is the loyal family friend that acts as consistent support for Lucie Manette. She is most notable for murdering Madame Defarge, as they were fighting one another.ReservedUnderestimatedSydney CartonThe miserable, lone-wolf.
Sydney is often depicted as being self loathing and miserable. He often refers to himself as already being dead, and expresses that he lives a wasted life. Despite this, he receives his chance to prove himself, as he took the place of Darnay and gave his life to express his loyalty to the Manette family.
OverlookedHeroicMiserableWrite two thematic statements about the text. Briefly explain how each theme is developed in the text. Theme (statement that shows what the author has to say about a thematic topic)How theme is developed in the textIn order for one to attain the utmost happiness, they must first take part in the act of sacrifice.Sacrifice is often seen throughout the text, whether it be the death of several aristocrats, or the lone-wolf of the novel. The impoverished Persians believed the only way for them to achieve happiness was to take down the aristocracy. They were willing to sacrifice the lives of the rich, and even their own in order to attain happiness.
Sacrifice is also seen in Sydney Carton as he gives his life to bring peace to the Manette family. Though he lost his life, he gained his own happiness due to the fact that he would no longer be miserable, and the Manette family was able to keep Charles Darnay. Resurrection often opens doors for one to grow in regards to social, mental, and physical characteristics. When Dr.Manette was released from prison, he was essentially resurrected, being that he was no longer in shackles. Despite his various breakdowns, he was able to grow as a person, and become stronger in times of distress. Identify 6-8 short, memorable, significant quotes from the text. Identify the speaker (if appropriate), the situation, and the significance of the quote.
Speaker/pageQuote (short)SignificanceNarrator, Introductory.”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” This quotation introduced the motif of doubling, and also the setting of the novel. It also had the ability to showcase the contrast of the two cities, and allow the reader to truly visualize the sheer differences. Narrator, Book 2 Chapter 4.
“She was the golden thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery.”After living through such traumatization, the quote relays that Dr.Manette is growing through Lucie. This is a recurring theme in the sense that Lucie serves as a thread to everyone, and allows many of the characters to feel grounded and stable. Carton’s last thoughts, Book 3 closing scene.”It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”The use of anaphora (far), allows the reader direct insight of the thoughts Sydney Carton battled, on his way to the guillotine.
The quote highlights the battle that many face with themselves, and the revelation that one may feel as though sacrificing their lives, is the best thing that they were to do.Doctor Manette, Book 3.”There is prodigious strength in sorrow and despair.
” When one holds a vast amount of sorrow and despair, the strength created by such emotions is equal in size. This can be seen as the French people revolt after years of mistreatment, and their combined strength, fueled by sorrow and despair, allowed them to overthrow the aristocracy. Book 3.”Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.”In the case of the novel, Sydney Carton’s death brought life to Charles Darnay.
Meaning that if one experiences death, a new life has the ability to be resurrected. Also seen in the novel, after the oppressed Parisians fought back, the rich were thus oppressed. This would thus translated that oppression mustn’t be combated with oppression, because the outcome will thus be more oppression. Madame Defarge, Book 3.
“Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop,” returned madame; “but don’t tell me.” The novel showcases what one has the ability to do when they are pushed to their limits. As seen by the impoverished French, they were willing to kill in order to get their point across. Stated by Defarge, though the wind and fire has the ability to stop, her rage and that of the rest of Paris, will not be stopped.Identify the major archetypes (use the handout from class), how it is shown in the text, and explain the significance as it relates to theme. Archetype/how it is shownSignificance to themeSydney Carton as the outcast and the hero.
This is shown in the beginning of the book with him being self loathing and feeling worthless, and he takes the place of the hero towards the end of the novel, with the sacrifice of his life.Carton’s consistent efforts for happiness, ending in compromising for the good of someone else are examples of sacrifice. His change from feeling worthless, to being dubbed as a hero, truly highlight how the act of sacrifice has the ability to transform the perception of someone.
Madame Defarge as the villain. Defarge took shape as the main antagonist, and is often depicted as doing anything for bloodshed. Also alluding to the theme of sacrifice, Defarge was often seen going to great lengths to “sacrifice” aristocrats.
She was often seen knitting names of those to be sacrificed, and to her, sacrifice would bring her and the common people closure.The color redThough the red was often depicted as being spilled wine, or the stain of bloodshed, it all lead back to the theme of sacrifice. This eternal staining further exemplified that in order for the French people to make a statement, and reach their “peace”, sacrifice was needed.Identify the following elements and their significance. There will likely be more than one for symbol, motif, and imagery. Add rows as appropriate. Include other optional elements as significant: point of view, allusion, etc.
Literary Element/ how it is shownSignificance Symbol: KnittingThis symbol was the death sentence for many aristocrats. The knitting also held a vast amount of strength because once a name was knitted into the fabric, their life would soon come to an end. Symbol: GuillotineThe guillotine represents the revolution, and how automatic the killings became. The price of a human life was lost in a swift motion, that many enjoyed seeing.Symbol: WineThere is often wine being spilled and staining the streets of Paris.
The wine is in relation to the vast amount of blood shed throughout the revolution. It is also uncoincidental that the Defarges run a wine shop, and also are responsible for a large amount of bloodshed during the revolution. Symbol: Golden threadThe thread represents Lucie Manette, and her ability to unify the characters around her. Motif: DoublingThis is a very prominent and important motif, constantly shown in the novel. The two cities and mirroring of characters highlights the dramatic contrast of England and France. Motif: SacrificeThe act of sacrifice is often referenced in the story, and shows that sacrifice is necessary.
Motif: Resurrection Resurrection is what many characters experience in a shape or form in the novel, making the idea natural after times of trouble.Motif: ImprisonmentSome form of imprisonment is experienced by every character, figuratively or literally. Imprisonment is deemed as inevitable by Dickens.Imagery: BloodThe sign of blood, and allusion to bloodshed was very common throughout the novel. At times, object’s such as the grindstone, and cobblestone roads would be stained with blood.Imagery: Wine In chapter 5, wine flooded the streets and left stains.
This imagery foreshadowed how the streets would actually look when real blood would be shed.In a final paragraph, explain why the work should be included on a list of works of high literary merit. Write your personal response to the content and style of the work.
Give a few specific examples to support your opinion.Nicole- The novel Tale of Two cities should be included on a list of high literary merit because of the incredible theme development and character development. Charles Dickens’ outstanding use of imagery and symbolism to makes readers think deeper into the meaning of the novel.
For example, the wine was a repeated symbol that had a more developed purpose every time it was mentioned, and eventually symbolized the thirst of blood during the revolution which goes into the theme of sacrifice. Because the purpose of the symbol took a majority of the novel to truly reveal itself, the reader could predicts the cause of this repetition. Another thing that is done exceptionally well is character development, especially in Miss Defarge. Miss Defarge’s personal through the beginning and middle parts of the book is very mysterious in the sense that we don’t understand her part in the story or why she does the things she does. Not until her plans were ready and the register was knitted did her true purpose come out as the head of the revolution. Again, this leaves readers thinking about why Defarge stands out from the rest of the common people, and why her silence and meticulous observing important to the novel. Overall the novel was a great read that gave good perceptions on life in poverty, war, and how life was 1800’s france.
The novel explored the cruel and raw realities of what life demands from us such as sacrifice, resurrection, and imprisonment. Because these themes are unpopular in a lot of literature, this piece of literature broadens the perceptions of life to the audience.Ebele- Set in a time of poverty and immense inequality, the novel, A Tale of Two Cities does a terrific job in replicating feelings and reactions many had during these times. Revolving around the arising French Revolution, Dickens utilizes a mirroring style writing , while also incorporating a timeline of events. Being that he is an Englishman himself, Dickens was able to thoroughly encapture the differences in the English and the French. This accuracy contributed to the telling of the novel, being that the reader was able to witness realistic views. Dickens also created many symbols such as the guillotine and grindstone, thus further showcasing the immense bloodshed of those times. By also speaking on the difference between the impoverished and the wealthy, Dickens allowed for the reader to take their own stance on varying characters.
Dickens’ in depth description of the actions and characteristics of the character also made it possible for the reader to truly understand characters, and the thought process they went through while making decisions. Though the novel moved slowly at times, it deserves to be on a list of high literary merit due to its realisticness, and development of character. Unlike many authors, Dickens’ was able to tell a story through the stories of each doubling character. He was able to create two varying worlds, which eventually collided in order to translate his themes of sacrifice and resurrection. Overall through his writing style, and placement of characters and their characteristics, Dickens creating an alarmingly accurate novel, worthy of high literary merit.