A Tale of Two Cities - Book Report
Rodriguez, David 10/19/12 Book Report: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities is written by Charles Dickens and was first published in 1859 - A Tale of Two Cities - Book Report introduction. This book shows the conditions of the poor, lower class, French people which were deprived by the French superior class during the years getting closer to the French revolution. This book displays a series of different parts. It may seem very confusing at times but if you reread most parts then you will understand them.
There are many central characters but the ones which appear most often are the characters, Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay. Charles was once from the superior French class but he fails to maintain his place there. Sydney is an attorney in the story and happens to love Charles Danrnay’s wife. The setting is, obviously, in France. A Tale of Two Cities is divided into three different books. They are, Book the First: Recalled to Life, Book the Second: The Golden Thread, and Book the Third: The Track of a Storm.
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In Recalled to Life the characters are Jarvis Lorry, Lucie Manette, and Monsieur and Madame Defarge. The defarges work at a shop where they sell wine. In this book they have a special name for each other which is “Jacques”. The monsieur Defarge takes care of Doctor Manette which is now insane because he has been in prison for a very long time. He learned the trade of making shoes in prison so he now makes shoes. Miss Lorry and Miss Manette take the Doctor back to England after he recognizes his daughter which he did not know because of his time in prison.
He compares her hair to a hair which he had of his wife’s hair which is blonde, the same as his daughter’s. In the Second Book, The Golden Thread, the setting is five years later. It begins John Barsad and Roger Cly which are two British spies who try to find Charles Darnay guilty, even though he has done nothing wrong. He is being held for treason at the Old Bailey, a criminal courthouse which still stands in present day. In the trial, allegations are made that Darnay gave information to the French about the British.
Charles is let go because a witness who said he could recognize him could not identify him properly. There is an accident which kills a baby of a man called Gaspard. The people, who are called Marquis, toss him a coin as if it covers the accident. Defarge tries to soothe the man. When the Marquis drive off, the book says that the coin is thrown back at them but does not say who, but this act gets the Marquis mad. When the Marquis get to their house, they meet their heir Charles Darnay, which is also his nephew.
When night comes the man who had his baby killed by the Marquis, goes to the house and kills the Marquis. He leaves a note which reads: Drive him fast to his tomb, this from Jacques. He eventually gets caught and hanged. Later on in the 3rd book Charles gets married to Lucie Manette. Sydney Carton then appears and admits that he loves her as well, but she does not love him back. Charles later admits his name and of which family he comes from. Somehow the doctor becomes normal again by the time Charles and Lucie come back from their honeymoon but this is not told to her.
The chapters then lead to July 14. Defarge helps to direct the storming of the Bastille. Monsieur Defarge then enters a cell where the doctor was imprisoned and looks for something. In the end of this book, Charles begins to raise his family and everyone seems to go out on their own but they still keep together somehow. The final book, Book the Third: The Track of a Storm, Darnay’s old servant which he use to know has been imprisoned and Darnay returns to free him in France. When he arrives there he is also imprisoned.
His wife and family go to him to try and free him but it takes over a year until he is let go. The Doctor somehow manages to get them to let him go but in the evening he is arrested again. He appears in court the following day just to see new charges that are being held against him. There is a man which Sydney recognizes as the man who tried framing Charles in the trial at the Old Bailey. Sydney threatens to reveal his identity as a spy. After that every character is discovered to be someone that they’re not. For example Darnay is discovered to be the Marquis St.
Evremonde. Monsieur Defarge can identify him as this because he remember when John Barsad told him who Charles really was, which was showed in the second book. After all this, Sydney discovers that Madame Defarge was from a peasant family uncultured by the Evremondes. Nobody ever finds out her real family name because the name she has is Monsieur Defarge’s. In another chapter, Sydney visits Charles in prison where he does something to him which apparently makes him sleep while he has John Barsad carry him out of the prison.
Darnay’s family then flees Paris and France. The book describes a man in the same coach which claims to be Sydney but is actually Charles. Madame Defarge goes to their house eager to find them sad over what has happened to Charles. (I searched up some notes for the book online and it says that it was illegal to mourn over an enemy of the republic. ) But when she arrives there, everyone is gone but a lady named Ms. Pross tries to stall her but she can’t really say anything because she speaks French and the other lady only speaks English.
While they are struggling Madame’s gun fires and strikes Pross who dies. In the heat of everything and all the noise Madame becomes deaf. In the end they chop off Sydney’s head with the guillotine. While he waits he and a lady, who will also be decapitated, meet and start to talk. He realizes some truth of the things which have happened and before he dies he says things about it. Then the lady is next in line, then himself. The book ends. I liked this book because it was quite interesting. My favorite part was when there was a trial against Charles in the Second book.
The trial is interesting because there are many witnesses that tell the story that does not relate with the tale that the false accusers are trying to make. I also enjoy trying to figure out the way the book is written. I would recommend this book because it is rich in vocabulary. Although you may not know what some of the words mean, it helps to have a dictionary or thesaurus to be able to understand the different words in this book. Charles Dickens has written many other good books as well, I think I will continue to read his writing because of his way of using vocabulary. I recommend you do too.