A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities Dickens, Charles Appleton Library 266 pp. The main
purpose of this book is to show the contrasts between the peaceful city of
London and the city of Paris, tearing itself apart in revolution. This is
apparent in the very first line of the book, "It was the best of times, it
was the worst of times...." This is a contrast of the two cities, London,
the tranquil home of Mr. Lorry and the Darnays\'; and Paris, the center of a
bloody revolution. The author shows gentleness in these violent times in the
persons of Dr. and Lucie Mannette, both gentle and peaceful. He also
characterizes the evil side of the revolution in the apathetic and depraved
Misuser and Mademoiselle Defarge, who go about their business while death carts
roll-- as do heads-- through the streets of Paris. He does though, depict a ray
of light amongst all this evil; the heroic Carton, who gave his life for his
friend and a woman he knew he would never have. The biggest contrast of all, is
in the person of Misuser Darnay, the gentle English family man, who is also
related to the evil Marquis Evremonde. I personally like stories that use
historical events as backdrops because it brings these seemingly distant events
closer to us. This book definitely offers insight into life in the two cities at
the time of the French Revolution. I think it does an excellent job of depicting
just how completely engulfed some people became in the revolution. It shows how
people were blinded by the desire for freedom from their former oppressors, so
much so, that they attacked anyone and anything that was even remotely related
to their past rulers. I think this was effectively done by excellent
characterization, using each character to depict a different aspect of society,
then contrasting them by making them rivals. I really took away a different view
of that time period. Some of the language he used was definitely outdated, yet
precisely what you would expect for a novel of that time period. I was able to
follow the story fairly well, although there were a few times, in switching back
and forth between cities, that I got a little lost Still on the whole I liked
the way the story flowed. Unlike some stories of that time, there wasn\'t really
any profanity or taking of God\'s name in vain, which is always good to see.
There are other Dickens books that I have liked more, but I still thought this
was a very good example of his work. I thought the style was pretty consistent
with other books by Dickens I\'ve read. It seems he uses characters to symbolize
traits of people quite often, like Tiny Tim symbolizing innocence in the
Christmas Carol to contrast Scrooge\'s unkindness. I thought the setting,
combined with the title and characterization, provided an in-depth look at the
time period of the French Revolution and the events around it. It starts with
the title, which is appropriate for obvious reasons, those being that the story
shifts between London and Paris quite often. The description of the settings
really added to the experience of the time period. The way he described the
prison cells, the area around the guillotine, and beautiful house of the Darnays\'
helped promote the contrasts between the cities, as well as put you right into
the story. As far as suspense goes, there really wasn\'t much, so if you\'re
looking to be kept on the edge of your seat, then I wouldn\'t really recommend
this. However, this book has an fantastically intricate plot, and a pretty good
ending. Overall I liked this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone who
likes Dickens and is also interested by the time period surrounding the French
Revolution. However, if you\'re looking for a cliffhanger full of action, this
isn\'t really the book for you. Word Count: 659

Category: Book Reports