Dhara Mehta's Reviews > A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
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Oct 21, 10

Recommended for: everyone
Read from October 19 to 20, 2010, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Disckens is an age old English classic about the French Revolution. Charles Darnay is son of a cruel French aristocrat, Mr St Evremonde. Mr. St Evremonde has raped a peasant woman, killed a baby while driving his carriage and imprisoned a noble doctor, Dr Mannette, for testifying against him. His son is the exact opposite, a gentle, kindred spirit who gave up name and fortune to try rebuilt his life in England. Dr Mannette is imprisoned in Paris and finally released 15 years later. After his prison sentence, he is hiding in a vine maker shop (Defarge) and working a senile shoemaker. His old banker, My Lorry, finds him and reunites him with his daughter Lucy.

Here there is a chance encounter between Charles Darnay and Lucy Mannette. They are married after Darnay’s is released from prison for presumed treason. Darnay’s release is orchestrated by Attorney Stryver and Sidney Carton (his intelligent yet drunk associate). Sidney loves Lucy, although she is getting married to Darnay. Darnay is called to France to rescue a former royal employee as he is tried in jail for a crime he did not commit. Darnay is caught in the mist of the French Revolution. All aristocratic families are sent ‘guillotine’. The leader of revolutionaries is the vindictive, vile, and revengeful Madame Darfarge (vine maker wife). Her goal is too purge France of any person of a noble heritage. She attempts to murder Lucy and her child but is killed Lucy devoted house keeper, Mrs Pross. Charles Darnay is accused of being an aristocrat thus his fate is doomed. Sidney Carlton exchanged places and dies instead for is love for Lucy.

The theme according to the venerable, Mr Cliff are the following: the disparities between the rich and poor thus leading the poor to revolt against the ‘haves’ , use of rape as theme violence, the corrupting effect of money, the irrationality of mob justice and finally the victory of good over evil. From my perspective, one should add paying of crimes of one’s ancestors as atheme. What responsibility does Darnay have for crimes that were committed by his father and uncle. I say NONE. Also Carlton, is portrayed as good for nothing fellow, yet is the noblest of them all. A Dickensen Christ!

This is by all means a difficult book to read and requires a great deal of concentration.

Favorite Quotes
The is a great crowd coming one day into our lives (p103)
A multitude of people yet solitude (p103)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,,,,, it was the age of reason, it was the epoch of incredulity ( p1)
Earnestness in you is anything but alarming to me (p 208)
As a whirlpool of boiling water has a centre point, so all this raging around Defarge (p 217)
This is a desperate time when desperate games are played for desperate stakes (p 305)
Tell the wind and fire to stop (p 346)
I am the resurrection and the life saith the lord; he that believeth in me, he shall never die.
Not one among them to be dreaded then this ruthless one
Eye to eye, voice to voice, hand to hand, these 2 children of the universal mother (p 379)
It is a far, far, better thing that I do than I have ever done…….
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Reading Progress

10/20/2010 page 416
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kris I love this line from your review: "Also Carlton, is portrayed as good for nothing fellow, yet is the noblest of them all." That is the best twist.


message 2: by brenda (new) - added it

brenda moyo hi!
my name is Brenda,
i saw your contact address while going through some pages here and i was pleased with it,if you want to know more about me please do get back to me on this email address (brendamoyo12@live.com)


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