Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities Essay

Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities Essay

Length: 2003 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview


Orison Swett Marden, an author known for his works in philosophy once wrote, “You will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact”. Using these words, Marden summarizes what factors influence humans and shape how they turn out. A similar scenario appears in Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities, where two characters are initially driven by their love for different people, but soon turn into complete opposites. Madame DeFarge, fueled by love, turns evil, while Sydney Carton, a lazy alcoholic, takes charge of his life after being motivated by love. The factor that separates their paths is their surroundings: Madame DeFarge lives in France, while Sydney Carton resides in England. Although their stories both begin with love, Madame DeFarge and Sydney Carton develop in opposite ways due to differences in their surroundings ;ultimately suggesting that Dickens argues for England’s superiority over France because of how Carton’s surroundings improve him, while Mme. Defarge’s surroundings encourage her brutality.
Love is initially a big motivator for both Madame Defarge and Mr. Carton’s actions because of its impact on their lives, however, their surroundings and the revolution are prominent in defining them. Around the end of the book, Madame Defarge reveals that her family had been mistreated by the Evrémonde brothers because they killed her sister and her little brother (3.12.351-352). Madame DeFarge finishes her sentence by saying, “tell the Wind and Fire to stop, but don’t tell me” (3.12.352). She is angry at the Evrémonde brothers because the family that she loved so much was killed by them, but at the end of her sentence, her tone indicates an emotio...


... middle of paper ...


...reason Carton is able to let go of his laziness. It is their surroundings that make the difference even though they start at love. Madame DeFarge witnesses constant brutality and transforms herself into an angry and vengeful woman because she is living in the heart of the French revolution, where brutality is accepted. In contrast, Carton is surrounded by benign people in the relatively calm England, where he learns to add meaning to his life. Dickens uses Madame DeFarge’s sinking into the abyss as a way to argue that France was not as good as England. In addition, using the judicial system comparison and the fact that Carton not only improved his life, but became the hero of the novel because of how England and its people shaped him, Dickens heavily leans towards England being more superior to France.





Works Cited

A Tale of Two Cities- Charles Dickens

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities

- In the 16th century Charles Dickens wrote the unforgettable novel A Tale of Two Cities. In it he created two of the most remarkable fictional characters of all time. One is the bloodthirsty Madame Defarge, and the other is the selfless Sydney Carton. Madame Defarge is a peasant who seeks revenge on all aristocrats who cross her path. In contrast, Sydney Carton is a man who is willing to do anything for the love of his life. While the actions of these two characters clearly delineate their differences, the underlying forces that drive each character are quite similar....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Free Essays
944 words (2.7 pages)

The Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Essay

- “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens began his remarkable novel, The Tale of Two Cities, in this way (Dickens 1). His famous beginning has been quoted by different people countless times. This opening is counted as a classic because it makes people think they already read the whole book just by reading those words. It perfectly covers the main theme in the novel A Tale of Two Cities. The novel depicts London and Paris in the late eighteenth century, and especially focuses on the French Revolution....   [tags: A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens]

Term Papers
2097 words (6 pages)

Stereotypes and Stereotyping in A Tale of Two Cities Essay example

- Stereotypes in A Tale of Two Cities        Charles Dickens stereotypes many of his Characters in A Tale of Two Cities. Among these stereotyped characters are The Marquis D' Evremond, Lucy, and Miss Pross. These particular stereotypes were probably intentional, for Dicken's was not a skilled writer.            The Marquis d' Evremond was probably intentionally stereotyped. His character is basically used to represent the French Military of the time, so he was as cruel, ignorant, and pompous as the French citizens were at that time....   [tags: Tale Two Cities Essays]

Term Papers
609 words (1.7 pages)

Free Essays on A Tale of Two Cities: Theme of Resurrection

- Theme of Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens uses a variety of themes, including, revenge, revolution, fate, and imprisonment. Though these are very important themes, and were integral elements of this novel, resurrection served as the main theme aside from the obvious one which is revolution. The reason I chose resurrection instead of revolution, is because it is applicable outside of this novels setting. It is also important to note that the theme of sacrifice is closely tied into resurrection....   [tags: Tale Two Cities Essays]

Free Essays
588 words (1.7 pages)

The Character of Lucie Manette in A Tale of Two Cities Essay

- The Character of Lucie Manette in A Tale of Two Cities Literature takes a single sentence and turns it into a powerful story with sorrow, humor, and mystery. Combined with literary elements, the reader experiences the power of extreme emotions and is taken past the boundaries of reality. In reading, a reader takes on the role of a character through characterization. They experience problems they would not usually encounter and the complications people endure to overcome obstacles....   [tags: Tale Two Cities Essays]

Term Papers
718 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

- The era surrounding the French Revolution was a horrifically bloody and violent period of history – the best of times and the worst of times. The violence enacted by the citizens of French on their fellow countrymen set a gruesome scene in the cities and country sides of France. Charles Dickens uses a palate of storm, wine, and blood imagery in A Tale of Two Cities to paint exactly how tremendously brutal this period of time was. Dickens use of storm imagery throughout his novel illustrates to the reader the tremulous, fierce, and explosive time period in which the course of events takes place....   [tags: Imagery Use, French Revolution]

Term Papers
1408 words (4 pages)

Humor in Dicken's Tale of Two Cities Essays

- A Tale of Two Cities Frequently in literature, humor is added in scenes to make them more interesting and more appealing to readers. Often times underneath the humorous covers lay a much more serious principle. Charles Dickens does exactly this in A Tale of Two Cities, by making slight comedy of issues such as democracy, the lower class, and spousal abuse. In A Tale of Two Cities, the actions of Jerry Cruncher, while essentially very humorless, may seem peculiarly funny to some people. The events that occur in chapter one of book two, concerning Mrs....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
517 words (1.5 pages)

The Fuel for Inhumanity in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities Essay

- The French Revolution, beginning in 1789, served as a force for exposing man’s inhumanity to man because of the unjust actions that arose in all aspects of human existence during this time period. Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities examines the extent to which man will travel to achieve what he believes is essential to life. A look into every aspect of this epoch in both France and England reveals the faults that enable man to overlook the value of another individual’s life. Throughout the novel, Dickens analyzes the concept of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man as a force motivated by inordinate greed, destructive power, and conspicuous injustice....   [tags: french revolution, greed, unjust actions]

Term Papers
974 words (2.8 pages)

A TAle of Two Cities Essay

- A TAle of Two Cities In every great novel there is a theme that is constant throughout the story. One of the better known themes portrays the fight of good verses evil. Different authors portray this in different ways. Some use colors while others use seasons to show the contrast. Still others go for the obvious and use characters. But what makes them all so different is the authors point of view. In Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities, he portrays good and evil in somewhat of a unique way. Dickens shows this difference by using characters, although we sometimes have to think about the difference between the good and the evil and wonder if they are not the same in the long run....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities

- Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities are two of the greatest English novels ever written. One chronicles the twists and turns of the life of a young man named Pip while the other serves as an account of the story of one family during the French Revolution. In both novels, there are contrasts between characters that are representative of the themes of the novels. In Great Expectations, the themes are good vs. evil and guilt vs....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
2432 words (6.9 pages)