Two Cities - A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Background Charles Dickens was born in England in 1812 the second of eight children His family

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A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Background Charles Dickens was born in England in 1812, the second of eight children. His family was not wealthy, and at age 11 he left school and went to work pasting labels on bottles. After his father went to prison for unpaid debts, Charles worked while the rest of the joined his father in the jail. Charles went back to school later and eventually became a free lance reporter and then and author. He claimed great fame throughout England for his works (his first being Pickwick Papers ) and was one of the most respected authors of his time. He was married to Catherine Hogarth and together they had 10 children, but their marriage ended in 1858. His health declined over the next several years, and Dickens died on a stroke in 1870. A Tale of Two Cities was written during the Industrial Revolution, which started in England. Many factories kept wages low, so the poor remained in poverty. The novel was first published from April to November of 1859 in a magazine called All the Year Round . In that same year Dickens starred in a play called The Frozen Deep . Not only did Dickens fall in love with another woman, he also got his inspiration for A Tale of Two Cities. The novel is set during the French Revolution, in both England and Paris. The French government was still feudalism, so there was a big difference between the wealthy and the poor. The revolution started because the common French people were ready for a change, to say the least… Plot, Characters, and anything else I noticed… The first chapter is appropriately called “The Period” because it describes what is going on in England and France at the time. The year is 1775, and France “entertained herself, besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers and his body alive because he had not kneeled down in the rain to honour a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at some fifty or sixty yards (2).” I liked the way that it described the woodman as fate and the farmer as death. Meanwhile, England has no order or protection, with burglaries, highway robberies, and murders. Both cities seem to be in a slum right now… So in the next chapter we meet Jarvis Lorry. He is walking next to the coach with the other passengers because Shooter’s Hill is muddy and the horse could not pull it all. A messenger (Jerry Cruncher) from Tellson’s Bank comes to deliver a message to Mr. Lorry. The message says to “Wait at Dover for Mam’sell” (8) and interestingly the message Mr. Lorry sends back is simply “Recalled to Life”. Chapter 3, “The Night Shadows” opens with a statement that “every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other (9).” I noticed that there is a narrator now, but I know nothing else about the narrator. I noticed because of the sudden first-person sentences “My friend is dead, my neighbor is dead, my
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Trent during the Fall '08 term at University of Tennessee.

  • Fall '08
  • Trent
  • A Tale of Two Cities, Love, Resurrection, Violence, England, France, The Guillotine, Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton, Dr. Manette, Madame Defarge, Gabelle, Jacques, Jerry Cruncher, John Barsad, Little Lucie, Miss Pross, Roger Cly, The Marquis, The Vengeance

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Two Cities - A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Background Charles Dickens was born in England in 1812 the second of eight children His family

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