Critical Analysis on a Tale of Two Cities

Chelsey Cardwell Double Credit English 1/3/12 Mr. Burns A Literary Analysis of A Tale of Two Cities I. Introduction Charles Dickens’ twelfth book, A Tale of 2 Cities, was written to show all of the good and wicked that existed throughout the French Revolution.

He utilizes the two main cities, London and Paris, to represent this, and after that incorporate a love story with several symbols of excellent and wicked such as Darnay and Carton, Madame Defarge and Miss Pross. In his unique, Dickens also shows both sides of the transformation with the peasants and the upper class.

He expresses how they are both wicked although the peasants are individuals who we would be accustomed to feel pity for. An example of this is when the Marquis runs over a peasant boy in the streets and only fears that his horses may have been hurt. Monsieur Defarge goes to Gaspard (the daddy of the kid) and states “Be brave guy, my Gaspard! It is better for the poor toy to pass away so, than to live. It has actually died in a minute without pain. Could it have lived an hour as gladly” (102 )?

This is a heart wrenching quote that enables the reader to comprehend simply how atrocious the peasant’s lives were; that is was a relief for a child to die rapidly than to live out their life as a peasant being stepped on by the aristocracy. Dickens’ unique, although challenging to some, has a great message of hope and favorable change with an enjoyable depiction of real events throughout the French Revolution. II. Themes The most obvious style seen throughout the book is the idea, and need for transformation.

The repetition of the words “recalled to life” provides most of the change that occurs. This theme applies to Doctor Manette, who is remembered to life when Mr. Lorry and Lucie bring him house from jail and cure his unhealthy mind, giving him another chance at having a life with his precious daughter. Container is also remembered to life, for instance he describes himself to Lucie as “self-flung away, wasted, drunken, poor animal of abuse,” and Lucie replies by asking Container if she can remember him to a much better ways (“Introduction” par 3). Carton sacrifices himself to enable Lucie to be happy.

He states “It is a far, far much better thing that I do, than I have ever done; It is a far, far much better rest that I go to than I have actually ever known” (360 ). At the end of the novel, the storyteller explains what Container’s last words would have been. He informs how Container imagined Lucie having a child and naming him after Carton, he says, “I see him winning it (his name) so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see blots tossed upon it, vanished” (360 ). He knows this child will live the life he must have, and in such a way continue to redeem Container for squandering his own life.

Roger Cly is likewise seen within this style; “Cly’s death and burial as an Old Bailey Spy, total with an enraged London mob, is a scams, a method of his getting away England with John Barsard. Cly, too, then, is “buried” and reanimated” (“Styles and Construction” par 4). Transformation is also apparent throughout France since of the rigorous, evil aristocracy. The peasants believe revolting will give them the change they want, although it only makes the scenario even worse. Another crucial style within the novel is revenge.

Dickens produces whole chapters on the Marquis to show how ghastly the aristocracy was, and yet he also condemns the peasants for revolting to it. Near completion of the unique, Dickens states, “Sow the exact same seed of rapacious licence and injustice over once again, and it will undoubtedly yield the very same fruit according to its kind” (355 ). This shows his idea that if they continue teaching their generations the very same beliefs that they have, a greater change will never ever be gotten. Another example of the rowdy people is when the do the Carmagnole around Lucie as she awaits the imprisoned Darnay to hopefully catch a glimpse of her.

The Carmagnole was known as the dance of the revolution that was extremely wild and grotesque, which was headed by The Revenge; this showed the deranged, mad actions of the peasants. Vengeance is likewise what drives both sides of the novel (the love story and the revolution). The peasants are constantly trying to revolt against the higher-ups for revenge for their treatment. On the love side, Lucie and Darnay would have lived happily ever after had Madame Defarge not had Darnay charged and sentenced to death for revenge of her slain household by Darnay’s household.

Madame Defarge’s friend’s name is even The Revenge, which demonstrates how cruel that specific group of peasants really was. Madame Defarge states, “Let me but lift my finger! She appeared to raise it, and to let it fall with a rattle on the ledge prior to her (Lucie), as if the axe had dropped” (325 ). She will not stop and be pleased with the death of the last family member who eliminated her family; she vows to get Lucie likewise. When she attempts to perform her pledge, she loses her life in a tussle with Miss Pross; her incurable desire for revenge brought her own death upon her.

Imprisonment is another obvious style within the novel. Dickens begins his unique with Doctor Manette being lastly launched from his jail time. Darnay is also later on sent to prison often times, and is eventually sentenced to the fate of the Guillotine. In a sense, Carton is also imprisoned but it is an internal dispute within himself instead of a physical jail time. He is ultimately released by giving up his own life so that Darnay and Lucie can live theirs out together. Jail time also coincides with the style of family.

The value of family is indicated with the reuniting of Lucie and her long lost daddy. Doctor Manette was locked away for a long time, and he was unable to recognize his own daughter. When Monsieur Defarge starts to question Lucie’s father, he addresses with a voice that Dickens describes as “lost the life and resonance of the human voice, that it affected the senses like a when gorgeous colour faded away into a bad, weak stain” (37 ), and the love and awareness of his only member of the family left is what brings him out of this trance like state.

Lucie weds Darnay and the hope at a long delighted household is provided, till Darnay’s life is to be taken. Carton recognizes Lucie will just more than happy with her household, and he enjoys her and knows she does not deserve to be without her family once again, so he decides to switch locations with Darnay. Class is also an obvious style within the novel that is revealed mainly within the violence between the upper class and the peasants. The upper class is so big-headed, that they have no other care in the world aside from themselves.

The Monseigneur sees himself so highly that he need to have 4 guys to serve him his chocolate, the storyteller tells the degree of this by stating,” Deep would have been the blot upon his escutcheon if his chocolate had actually been ignobly waited on by only 3 males; he must have passed away of two” (96 ). On the other side, the peasants are so low that when an innocent child is killed in the streets, the aristocracy doesn’t care, and the child’s daddy is told to be pleased that the child is gone to a much better place and does not have to live the life they are living (102 ).

III. Importance Dickens utilizes many examples of significance throughout his novel, lots of being rather obvious to the reader. When white wine is spilled on the streets and all of the peasants rush to it to consume all that they can, a man composes the word blood on the wall, which is exactly what the white wine stood for, all the blood that will be spilled in result of the transformation. The owner of the red wine store looks at him and says, “What now? Are you a topic for the mad health center” (29 )?

The owner is calling the peasant crazy for composing it, that makes him a sign for all the insane peasants who trigger the spill of blood later on in these precise same streets. Blood is also symbolized after the reading of the old letter composed by Medical professional Manette, the court room is described by emitting “a noise of yearning and eagerness that had absolutely nothing articulate in it however blood” (317 ). This exemplifies how everybody desired the blood shed of Darnay after such evidence was found originating from Physician Manette.

Significance is likewise used with Dickens choice in use of characters. Madame Defarge and Miss Pross represent good and evil, and this is likewise revealed with the families they live within. The two cities described in the title of the book, London and Paris are symbolized within Darnay and Carton. Darnay is the civilized London, and Container being the corrupt Paris. Container gets a chance at redeeming himself and making whatever modification for the better, which is precisely what Paris needs, and is what the peasants are all revolting for.

He likewise uses this element of good and evil within the opening lines of the book, “It was the very best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of absurdity, it was the date of belief, it was the date of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness” (1 ), by starting the book with these lines, Dickens is foreshadowing all of the dark and light events that will happen during the book. More significance within the characters is evident when Container is awaiting his death and he fulfills his love match.

This was symbolic to him because he has actually done the best thing and has redeemed himself of his lost life. Dickens tells in the book that the ones watching Carton die thought him to look “sublime and prophetic” (359 ). He was all set and content with his decision. Another example of this is Madame Defarge’s knitting. Greek Mythology links knitting to vengefulness and fate; the goddess (Nemesis) of indignation against evil deeds and unjust fortune is the category Madame Defarge falls under (“Nemesis” par. 1).

The Golden Thread is likewise a sign; it is describing Lucie since she weaves herself through people’s lives and brings them into a possibility at having a much better future (her daddy, and Container). The Marquis is a symbol of corrupt France. “It appeared, under the circumstances, rather agreeable to him to see the common individuals distributed prior to his horses, and often hardly getting away from being diminished” (101 ). He certainly takes pleasure in the torment and fear of the peasants and has no compassion for them at all, which is symbolic of the entire French aristocracy’s feelings. They saw the peasants “as if they had actually been simple rats come out of their holes” (102 ).

Another really essential sign handling the revolution is the Guillotine. “All the devouring and insatiate Monsters thought of because imagination might tape-record itself, are fused in the one realization, Guillotine” (355 ). This is how Dickens explains the guillotine to demonstrate how appalling and evil of a symbol it stood as throughout this time. The guillotine was likewise described in the unique as the “sharp female newly-born” (241) revealing its popular role in the transformation. IV. Irony Dickens uses many different examples of significant, spoken, and situational paradox to include excitement to his novel.

Spoken irony appears as the book advances. It is discovered that Jerry Cruncher is not a sincere tradesperson, but a sneaky resurrection guy. He ruins his honesty title by lying to his kid about his job and stating that he is only fishing. The spoken irony within this is when Jerry is called “a sincere tradesman” (155 ). Remarkable paradox is shown when Carton trades locations with Darnay. It is ironic because we know what has taken place and no one else is yet aware, and after that everybody however Darnay’s household thinks he is really put to death. The Vengeance states, “Evermonde will be despatched in a wink, and she not here! (357 ). She, in addition to everyone else, believes the Evermonde household will be finally vanquished. Situational irony happens when an old letter written by Doctor Manette is brought into Darnay’s trial, it is a written account of how the Evermondes raped and killed a helpless woman and her household which is evidence condemning Darnay’s name. It is never expected that Medical professional Manette might be utilized versus Darnay since he has accomplished a lot to assist him. “And all the worse for the doomed man, that the denouncer was a well-known person, his own connected buddy, the dad of his partner” (318 ).

Another example of situational irony is Doctor Manette becoming the father-in-law of a family member who practically took his life far from him forever. V. Characterization Dickens depicts his characters well, and invests line upon line explaining them to permit the reader to collect the image he desires them to see. Sydney Container is the most vibrant, and the author shows this by composing how his ideas clear and he decides to trade places with Darnay out of his love for Lucie and desire for her to keep her family together that she so highly requires after her maturing an orphan.

Doctor Manette is shown as a male of secret in the start of the story, “every human animal is constituted to be that extensive trick and secret to every other” (10 ). He is a secret to Lucie and Mr. Truck, and then Dickens brings him out of his shell by offering him a relationship with Lucie. With the characters Carton and Physician Manette, the author reveals us how essential relationships are, and how they can affect an individual and their actions. Dickens doesn’t identify Lucie and Darnay quite, however in a sense he has no need to because the other characters control their fate.

Dickens chose Madame Defarge to illustrate the transformation; and it is her vengeful mindset is what brings her to her death, when she pursues Lucie and is shot during a battle with Mrs. Pross (352 ). VI. Viewpoint Dickens wrote A Tale of 2 Cities in third individual omniscient, and he exposes ideas, feelings, and reasons for each characters actions along with historic text which adds much spice to the novel. By selecting to compose in 3rd individual omniscient he keeps established, clear motives and does not keep the author in the dark about anything which keeps them itching to read further.

This likewise adds much effect on the book when Carton surprisingly purchases drugs and exchanges locations with Darnay. VII. Conclusion A Tale of 2 Cities is a novel that has flourished throughout the years, and is so enticing since it is a mix of true historic occasions entwined within a love story. Dickens was a very talented writer, but it is best for a reader to do prior research study before they swallow up in the job of reading the unique due to the fact that Dickens uses many words to explain one person, location, or thing that makes it hard for lots of readers to keep their mind within the book.

For example, in the really first chapter of the book, Dickens uses two and a half pages simply to tell about France and England rather simply coming out with what was going on at the time. Functions Cited Atsma, Aaron J. “NEMESIS: Greek Goddess of Retribution & & Indignation|Folklore, W/ Pictures.” THEOI GREEK FOLKLORE, Exploring Folklore & & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & & Art. Theoi Project, 13 Oct. 2000. Web. 27 Dec. 2011. <. Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. 1859. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.

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