A Tale of Two Cities



In the fictitious novel Tale of Two Cities, the author, Charles

Dickens, lays out a brilliant plot. Charles Dickens was born in

England on February 7, 1812 near the south coast. His family moved to

London when he was ten years old and quickly went into debt. To help

support himself, Charles went to work at a blacking warehouse when he

was twelve. His father was soon imprisoned for debt and shortly

thereafter the rest of the family split apart. Charles continued to

work at the blacking warehouse even after his father inherited some

money and got out of prison. When he was thirteen, Dickens went back

to school for two years. He later learned shorthand and became a

freelance court reporter. He started out as a journalist at the

age of twenty and later wrote his first novel, The Pickwick Papers. He

went on to write many other novels, including Tale of Two Cities in

1859.



Tale of Two Cities takes place in France and England during the

troubled times of the French Revolution. There are travels by the

characters between the countries, but most of the action takes place

in Paris, France. The wineshop in Paris is the hot spot for the French

revolutionists, mostly because the wineshop owner, Ernest Defarge, and

his wife, Madame Defarge, are key leaders and officials of the

revolution. Action in the book is scattered out in many places; such

as the Bastille, Tellson's Bank, the home of the Manettes, and

largely, the streets of Paris. These places help to introduce many

characters into the plot.



One of the main characters, Madame Therese Defarge, is a major

antagonist who seeks revenge, being a key revolutionist. She is very

stubborn and unforgiving in her cunning scheme of revenge on the

Evermonde family. Throughout the story, she knits shrouds for the

intended victims of the revolution. Charles Darnay, one of whom Mrs.

Defarge is seeking revenge, is coneztly being put on the ezd and

wants no part of his own lineage. He is a languid protagonist and has

a tendency to get arrested and must be bailed out several times during

the story. Dr. Alexander Manette, a veteran prisoner of the Bastille

and moderate protagonist, cannot escape the memory of being held and

sometimes relapses to cobbling shoes. Dr. Manette is somewhat

redundant as a character in the novel, but plays a very significant

part in the plot. Dr. Manette's daughter, Lucie Manette, a positive

protagonist, is loved by many and marries Charles Darnay . She is a

quiet, emotional person and a subtle protagonist in the novel. One who

never forgot his love for Lucie, the protagonist Sydney Carton changed

predominately during the course of the novel. Sydney , a look-alike of

Charles Darnay, was introduced as a frustrated, immature alcoholic,

but in the end, made the ultimate sacrifice for a good friend. These

and other characters help to weave an interesting and dramatic plot.



Dr. Manette has just been released from the Bastille, and Lucie,

eager to meet her father whom she thought was dead, goes with Mr.

Jarvis Lorry to bring him back to England. Dr. Manette is in an insane

state from his long prison stay and does nothing but cobble shoes,

although he is finally persuaded to go to England. Several years

later, Lucie, Dr. Manette, and Mr. Lorry are witnesses at the trial of

Charles Darnay. Darnay, earning his living as a tutor, frequently

travels between England and France and is accused of treason in his

home country of France. He is saved from being prosecuted by Sydney

Carton, who a witness confuses for Darnay, thus not making the case

positive. Darnay ended up being acquitted for his presumed crime.

Darnay and Carton both fall in love with Lucie and want to marry her.

Carton, an alcoholic at the time, realizes that a relationship with

Lucie is impossible, but he still tells her that he loves her and

would do anything for her. Darnay and Lucie marry each other on the

premises of the two promises between Dr. Manette and Darnay. Right

after the marriage, while the newlyweds are on their honeymoon, Dr.

Manette has a relapse and cobbles shoes for nine days straight.



France's citizens arm themselves for a revolution and, led by the

Defarges, start the revolution by raiding the Bastille. Shortly

before the start of the revolution, the