Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

1. Why does the novel start out with the quote, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."?

2. The story takes place during the French Revolution in Paris and London. Why are they chosen as the two separate cities for comparison?

3. Mr. Lorry says, "Recalled to life." What is he trying to say and what relation does it have to his life?

4. Why is Dickens's tone in the book very ominous or sad?

5. What is the big surprise about Lucie's dad?

6. How does Monseiur Defarge react to Lucie and Lorry when they come into his wine shop in England?

7. How does Lucie's dad react when Lucie shows up?

8. What is meant by the quote, "death was a recipe much in vogue,"?

9. Who is Jerry Cruncher and why is he relevant to the storyline in the current year 1780?

10. What is the relationship between Lorry and Charles Darnay?


1. That quotes symbolizes the contradictory attitudes from the two separate cities of London and Paris. While Paris was the center of the Revolution going on, they weren't in any major concern state of mind. Meanwhile, London was scared of another revolution starting. They were scarred for life by the American Revolution and did not want that to come back to haunt them like it did the first time around.

2. Like stated above in answer #1, the two cities were chosen as a sort of comparison between environments during such a huge historical event. Paris was going crazy but kept its cool. London was fearful of what they thought was going to destroy the European nation. Dickens used these two cities like a science experiment with one being the control and the other being the variable. They each took the reactions in different ways; therefore, London and Paris were the contrast of the time period.

3. Lorry is mostly talking about how troubled he is with the circumstances in his life. This phrase refers to the fact that giving himself or someone else a second chance of life is like a renewal. He will be able to start from scratch and have a clean slate at the difficult journey ahead.

4. Dickens has a dreary tone during the majority of the novel to set the scene for a gloomy life going on during the time period. London is known for its foggy setting and with the sad tone mixed in, it represents the sadness that the community feels after losing their last revolution/war. The tone also shows the character's personalities and outlooks on life.

5. Lorry and Lucie find out that Lucie's dad is not dead. He is, in fact, in jail and has been for the past 18 years. He got locked up for witnessing (and being falsely accused) a horrendous murder crime.

6. When they first walk in the shop, he ignores them like they aren't even there. After a few minutes, he talks to Lorry quickly and then leads them up some stairs. Once they reach the room they are looking for, they come to find an older man.

7. At first, he doesn't really recognize her because she has grown up since he last saw her. Then he notices her blonde curly locks as a familiar sign. He begins to assume that Lucie is his wife because of her noticeable hair. Lucie goes on to speak about what's been happening and her dad weeps with shock and joy because he has been reunited at last.

8. This phrase is meant along the lines of how to deal with crimes in the current time period. Many people who get convicted for whatever petty crime they did usually get killed because it is frowned upon to revolt against the laws.

9. Jerry Cruncher is an employee of Tellson's. He is married but he is very abusive towards his wife. He hates the fact that she has no true faith in him and beats her because of it. He becomes more involved in the storyline as he must go to the courthouse to attend to some important matters.

10. Charles Darnay is a man that has been accused for leaking secrets about the King of France, King Louis. He has to go up on trial in which Lorry is involved in as a witness to the crime.

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