Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


A Tale of Two Cities takes place in London and Paris and takes place before and after the French Revolution. The first book takes place in 1775. Jarvis Lorry, an employee of Tellson's Bank, is travelling from England to France to bring Dr. Alexandre Manette to London. He meets 17 year old Lucie Manette and reveals to her that her father, Dr. Manette, is not dead, as she had been told; instead, he was a prisoner in the Bastille for 18 years. They travel to meet him where Monsieur Defarge, who was once his servant, is taking care of him. At first he does not recognize his daughter, but then realizes it is her. Five years later they are both witnessed to a trial accusing Charles Darnay for being a spy. He was acquitted when a witness said he would be able to recognize Darnay anywhere cannot tell him apart from a person present in court, Sydney Carton, who looks almost identical to him. In Paris, Marquis St. Evemionde, Darnay's Uncle, runs over and kills a little boy, and throws a coin to the father to compensate for his loss. Darnay meets with his uncle and is disgusted with the family name tells him he is keeeeping the name Darnay to not be associated with them. Darnay gets Dr. Manette's persmission to marry Lucie, but Cartson confesses his love to Lucie as well. Darnay is imprisoned for emigrating and is tried a year and three months later. Madame Defarge has charges against him and reveals who he truely is. She reveals that Darnay's father and uncle imprisoned Dr. Manette because he was going to reaveal their secret. Darnay's Uncle had become infatuated with a girl, whom he kidnapped and raped, then killed her husband. Before he dies, the brother of the raped peasant had hidden the last member of the family, his younger sister. Darnay is sentenced to death. Carton wanders into the Defarge's wine shop, where he overhears Madame Defarge talking about her plans to have the rest of the Darnay family condemned; Lucie and her daughter. He discovers that Madame Defarge is the surviving sister of the peasant family. Cartson visits Darnay in prison the next day and drugs him. He stitches clothes with Darnay and has decided to be executed in his place. Darnay's family and Lorry flee to Paris and France. The novel concludes with the guillotining of Sydney Carton.


1. Would you rather grow up thinking that your father is dead or know that he is in prison and you will probably never get a chance to see him?

2. Carton dies in place of Darnay because of his love for Lucie, if you had the chance would die in place of someone to help the one you love or die in place of the one you love?

14 comments:

Betsy C 1314 said...

I think that I would rather think that my father is dead. I would rather have a good picture of him in my head than find out that he was a criminal. Personally, if I would never get to see him anyway, I'd rather think highly of him than know the truth.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

1. This is a hard question to answer. It like those rather you do this or this questions. I think I agree with Betsy though. It is better to imagine what your father was like then know tat e is a criminal and that you can never get to know him. You would have a terible picture of him in your head forever. If you had a chance to get to know him; however, you would be bale to find out that he may be a good person, just did one thing wrong in his life. Since that is not aloud to happen though, then the person will always have a bad image of their father.
2. This also is a hard question. I would like to think that I would die for those reasons, but I would not know unless I was in that situation.

Leah A 5-6 said...

1. Even though it would be hard to know the truth, I think I would rather grow up knowing that my father is in prison. I believe knowing the truth is better than believing a lie.

Hayley D 11/12 said...

1. I agree with Leah, even though it would be easier to think that he is dead and keep a good picture of him in your head, I'm pretty sure I would prefer to know the truth. I honestly think that knowing the truth is better in the long run, because it's better than living your entire life under a lie. Even though the truth hurts sometimes, it's better than the pain of being lied to.

LibbyS5/6 said...

In all situations I believe that honesty is the best policy. Regardless of the fact that I may never get to meet my father, I would still rather know he is alive and in prison. The truth is always better to hold on to, because it's concrete and real.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

I think that knowing my father was sill alive woud be better eveen though I may never get to see him. At least there is always a small chance that you would find out who you were instead of having to go through life feeling as though you were missing out because there was absolutely no way you would get to meet your father or know about him other than what people had to say about what he was like before he died. If he was alive you would still have the chance to find some way to meet him rather than no way at all.

Hannah L 13-14 said...
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Eric Y 13-14 said...

For question one, I believe knowing my father is alive would be the best option because then I wouldn't feel like my life is a lie if I found out. Also there is always hope that I will be reunited.

For question two, this decision would take a lot of contemplating. I believe if I felt strongly enough towardds someone then I would take their place but it is difficult to fully react to the situation without thinking of self related issues.

JessieW 11-12 said...

2). If I had the chance I would definitely choose to die in place of the one I love. I wouldn't be able to handle seeing them die, esspecially if I could of done something about it.

Cieran B. 5-6 said...

!) I would rather grow up knowing my father was in prison alive for at least even though I may never see him, I know i still have family in the world. No matter what having a parent alive is better than having none for if The father was dead then the grief would be even worse.

David G. 13-14 said...

1. I would want to know my father was alive and a criminal compared to thinking he was dead. I would still want to know who I came from, whether that someone would be a criminal or the pope. I think knowing your roots is important and learning from your parents is a very beneficial way to become the best person you can be.

Greg P. 13-14 said...

I would rather know my fathers in prison. It always seems better to know where you came from

Nick E. 13-14 said...

1. I would preferably rather be told that my father is dead. If I didn't know either way, then just the fact that he is dead would be some kind of closure. If I was told my father was in prison and there was no way I'd get to meet him, it would follow me my entire life... knowing he's out there somewhere.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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