The art of historic fiction needs from its developer the scrupulosity of selection. This relates to the selection of style, characters and their functions, rate of narration and time series supported by the language embodied into certain literary gadgets to make a story special and popular through centuries. This requirement is perfectly accomplished by Charles Dickens in his novel A Tale of Two Cities.
The success of A Tale of Two Cities can be credited to Dickens’s artful setting of a touching human story against the background of the world-shaking occasions of the French Revolution, and to the styles related with these events. Amongst these styles, one of the most crucial is the style of sacrifice, as the way to self-fulfillment.
An accompanying are the themes of retribution and human loyalty– kind and sympathetic when it comes to the Manettes, father and child, and Miss Pross; appalling though reasonable in the case of Madame Defarge, who can always remember what the Evrémondes did to her household. Another theme is the similarities and parallels Dickens wants us to see in between London and Paris. The 2 cities represent opposed state of minds that are personified by contrasting female characters.
Dickens refers initially to the London carts and coaches, in which “pale visitors set out constantly on a violent passage into the other world” from the criminal court and jail of Old Bailey (Dickens, ii 2). Later on, before he depicts the mob in Paris, he gives us a London crowd, which “in those times stopped at absolutely nothing, and was a beast much dreade” (Dickens, ii 14).
Dickens’s a lot of memorable characters tend to be the eccentrics, the droll fellows. In A Tale of 2 Cities there are few of these: Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher are the two most noteworthy. As a contrast to them there is the pushing Stryver; he is not really amusing.
The rest of Dickens’s characters do not hold much of the reader’s interest. Thus, Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette, the excellent Physician Manette, and Jarvis Lorry all appear fairly regular individuals, who in other scenarios would not be very fascinating.
The same might even hold true of the Defarges, husband and wife. Had they not had a transformation to eliminate, their lives might have been regular, and not worth examining. But in this unique, the driving force is an impersonal one. Its influence on character is felt most highly when we think about the two primary antagonists: Sydney Carton and Madame Defarge.
Sydney Carton is a case of a spoiled male who has somehow lost his nerve and his self-respect and bitterly knows it. He gets the possibility to do a worthy thing and, in doing it, redeems his wasted life. But, had actually there been no such opportunity, we must presume that he would have gone on in his downward track, drinking more and enjoying it less, and at some point being cast off by the now affluent Stryver– the guy who has actually used him to his own great advantage– when he needs him no longer.