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A Tale of Two Cities


DISCLAIMER: Some info may give away important plot happenings. The book might be ruined if you read on. This info came from my reading record cards for English. I hope it helps you review or tests!!

Title: A Tale of Two Cities
Author: Charles Darnay(Feb. 7,1812- June 9,1970/ England)
Original Publication: 1859
Setting: London and Paris, late 1700’s
Theme: 1) The power of love can heal and redeem. 2) Oppression often leads to revolution, which itself leads to injustice and abuse. 3) Individual’s lives are often shaped by events over which they have no control. 4) Love is a stronger force than hate.
Plot Summary: Doctor Manette gets recalled to life and regains his 17 yr. old daughter Lucie, who marries Charles Darnay. Darnay is a Frenchman, living in England, who goes to France gets put in La Force and Manette then rescues him. The Defarges denounce him and he is put back in jail, in Paris. Manette denounces Evremondes. Sydney Carton switches places with him and he is then executed as Darnay.
Characters: Mr. Lorry - works at Tellson’s bank, Lucie’s guardian
Dr. Manette - prisoner of Bastille for 18 yrs.
Lucie Manette-Darnay - wife of Charles, “The Golden Thread”
Charles Darnay - protagonist, French aristocrat who lives in England
Sydney Carton - dissipated lawyer , sacrifices his life for Lucie
Mr. Defarge - wine shop owner, ex-servant of Dr. Manette, antagonist
Madame Defarge - antagonist, knits her death register for revenge
Symbols: Madame Defarge’s knitting= death register
Golden Thread= Lucie
Sea= revolution
Footsteps= revolution
Motifs of red and stone= bloodshed, cold heartedness
Allusions: many biblical allusions
Distinguishing Characteristics: many characters who seem disconnected are connected at the end.
Style: symbolism, metaphors, compound complex sentences
Conflict: Man vs. Man- Defarges vs. Evremondes
Man vs. Fate- Darnay/ Evremondes vs. Fate
Man vs. Self- Sydney vs. self; Manette vs. Self
Man vs. Society- revolutionaries vs. aristocrats