A Tale of Two Cities: Purpose of the Book

Topics: French Revolution, Paris, Guillotine, Prince, The Time / Pages: 3 (661 words) / Published: Oct 2nd, 2000
The main purpose of this book is to show the contrasts between the peaceful city of London and the city of Paris, tearing itself apart in revolution. This is apparent in the very first line of the book, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." This is a contrast of the two cities, London, the tranquil home of Mr. Lorry and the Darnays'; and Paris, the center of a bloody revolution. The author shows gentleness in these violent times in the persons of Dr. and Lucie Mannette, both gentle and peaceful. He also characterizes the evil side of the revolution in the apathetic and depraved Misuser and Mademoiselle Defarge, who go about their business while death carts roll-- as do heads-- through the streets of Paris. He does though, depict a ray of light amongst all this evil; the heroic Carton, who gave his life for his friend and a woman he knew he would never have. The biggest contrast of all, is in the person of Misuser Darnay, the gentle English family man, who is also related to the evil Marquis Evremonde. I personally like stories that use historical events as backdrops because it brings these seemingly distant events closer to us. This book definitely offers insight into life in the two cities at the time of the French Revolution. I think it does an excellent job of depicting just how totally involved some people became in the revolution. It shows how people were blinded by the desire for freedom from their former oppressors, so much so, that they attacked anyone and anything that was even remotely related to their past rulers. I think this was effectively done by excellent characterization, using each character to depict a different aspect of society, then contrasting them by making them rivals. I really took away a different view of that time period. Some of the language he used was definitely outdated. The language was exactly what you would expect for a novel of that time period. I was able to follow the story pretty well, although there were a

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