Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens ~ Setting and Atmosphere
Tale of Two Cities takes place in France and England during the troubled
times of the French Revolution. The main action in the novel is scattered out in many places such as: the Bastille, Tellson’s Bank, and largely, the streets of Paris. Although the story takes place during the years 1775 and 1793 it also refers to events that took place in the past which helps define characters. In the first book there are a few comparisons that convey the atmosphere of chaos. Latter on in the second book when we encounter The Marquis we see that the true nature of the atmosphere is in fact evil and tense. Almost all the peasants in the novel are shown as dirt poor, doing this Dickens make the atmosphere very dull and grim because of the very poor conditions France is under. A great description of the peasants is offered when a cask of wine broke;
“The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks on the billets; and the forehead of the woman who nursed her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again.”
not only does this quotation tell us were this is taking place, Saint Antoine, but also how poor the people really are. Since they all scramble to drink the wine because they had never tasted undiluted wine. It is good that Dickens set the novel in France and England for the purpose of contrast.
... but I still missed the inspiring and uplifting atmosphere of France. ... I also visited Monaco, a principality actually separate from France. Our tour bus driver announced, Monaco coins are ... , idyllic, and colorful countryside of the south of France. Walking across the immense Pont du Gard aqueduct in ... knew I could spend hours there. Most of its stained glass had been destroyed in the World Wars. There ...
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens ~ Personal Reflection
Throughout the novel A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens creates suspense and mystery keeping his readers interested. This novel has fascinated reader over a span of more than one-hundred years, using an intriguing plot with an unbelievable storyline. Most of his suspense is created through the use of cliffhanger episodes at the end of each chapter. But in my opinion the best part of the book was the twist at the end, when Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton switch places, it is an unanticipated move because it seemed like all hope was lost for Darnay after the trial. If anything I expected him to break out of prison and flee somehow. It is an amazing sacrifice taken by Sydney Carton even thought at the begging of the novel he is portrayed as a hopeless drunk that cares for no one, not even himself. Carton laid down his life for a man who had never done anything for him and who in fact had abused his relationship as demonstrated when Carton describes himself in Darnay’s view as:
“At any rate you know me as a dissolute dog, who has never done any good, and never will.”
and Darnay’s response was:
“I don’t know that you ‘never will.”
indicating that he does agree with his statement. Also I do not know whether it was Dickens intent to foreshadow event to come; when Carton does do some “good”. Going over the book a second time does make it seem that the author is giving a clues about how important Carton will become in such a complex plot . It is my belief, however, that Carton did not sacrifice his life for Darnay, he sacrificed it for Lucie’s happiness. Still thinking that he is worthless and that he could never make Lucie happy as Darnay does. Over all I thought it was a magnificent book, full of suspense and mystery around every character.
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens ~ Imagery
Probably the most vivid and significant symbol is blood, it is a reoccurring image and it also sets the tone of the novel. One of the first images of blood is used in describing aristocratic bloodlines. Then we encounter this image when the cask of wine breaks,
... meaning even though he is about to lose it. Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton have very much in common, including their similar appearances ... character also plays a key role in the novel. Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton are very much alike, however they are also very ... in Book II of the novel. These characters are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. When the reader is first introduced to these two ...
“the wine was red wine… those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth… The time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones, and when the stain of it would be red upon many there.”
and spills into the streets of Saint Antoine, not only is it red wine that foreshadows real blood being spilled when the revolution erupts but also one of the men wrights “Blood” on the wall. Blood can also be related to murder and death, The Marquis St. Evrémonde ran over a child relating back to the image of blood. Then The Marquis was going to murder his nephew but then ended up dead himself by means of murder. Near the end of the novel we see the image of blood again with “fifty-two men” lined up to get the guillotine, mostly for their aristocratic bloodlines. Sydney Carton is executed and that is the final powerful image of blood. All significant images and symbols are based on blood along with poverty in this novel, setting its tone and atmosphere.
Characterization of Marquis St. Evrémonde
In the novel Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, we encounter a character by the name of Marquis St. Evrémonde. He appears in book two, The Golden Thread, and he dies in the same book by means of assassination in his sleep. Throughout his short appearance in the novel we understand how evil in nature he is. Even when on the outside he appears as a gentleman, he still is uncaring and has no respect for life.
Marquis St. Evrémonde character is an interesting one because on the exterior he can be defined as: a man about sixty, elegantly dressed, proud in manner, and with a finely powdered face. The face is resembles a mask;
“A face of a transparent paleness; every feature in it clearly defined; one set expression on it. The nose, beautifully formed otherwise, was very slightly pinched at the top of each nostril. In those two compressions, or dints, the only little change that the face ever showed, resided”
these dints changed color or could dilate with the change of emotions, these gave the man a look of treachery and cruelty. When observed closely you could see the mouth and eyes of the man, they combined with this mask made it a handsome face. This mask conceals all his emotions other wise the world would know what kind of a man he is. He, like many men at the time used snuff, a tobacco that is inhaled, this was an other indication of emotions that he felt. When frustrated the Marquis oftentimes took snuff. Over all on the exterior he was much more pleasant then on the inside.
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On the inside this aristocrat was a cruel and malevolent being, he didn’t respect anyone or anything. He takes great pride in being despised; when his nephew told him that he thinks “our name to be more detested than any name in France” the Marquis response was: “Let us hope so”. Latter on when the nephew says everyone around looks at us with great fear and savagery, the Marquis once again makes a bold statement of how it is a complement to have everyone around you refer to you in a loathing manner. According to the Marquis it was a sigh of great respect and admiration. His lack of respect for human life is most evident when he runs over an innocent little child and stops only because his horses did. The Marquis was much more concerned with the welfare of his horses rather then the life of the child. His cold-heartedness is best demonstrated when for this event he says:
“It is extraordinary to me, that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is for ever in the, way.”,
and as compensation for his crimes he throws a single coin to the boy’s father. Monsieur the Marquis did not fell any remorse what so ever, even when he’s just committed murder of a child.
When Marquis St. Evrémonde was talking to his nephew, we realize how much power this man and all aristocrats had, and how much the Marquis misses it. The Marquis keeps referring to the people, the common people, as: dogs, rats and vulgar, because he thinks that he is above the rest of society. He indicates that not to long ago men like him
“held the right of life and death over the surrounding vulgar”
and not only that but he could do as he pleased with the daughters of the servants. When a man came to object he was killed because according to Monsieur the Marquis it was not the man’s daughter because he owned them both. The Marquis had been planning the murder of his nephew because he was the sole heir to his estate, but this does not workout instead he himself gets murdered, we can only presume that it was he’s nephew that set it up.
Parents are an integral part of any child’s life. They are his safe haven, his stepping ... into us as kids where the color of a man’s skin or the God he believes in ... important area where parent’s identities influence their children is in the child’s perception of himself/herself. An apt ... Cited A Book Dr. Haim G Ginott. Between Parent and Child. Crown. (Jul 22, 2003). Thomas, G. Parent Effectiveness ...
The deception put on by the Marquis made him seem not to evil of a man, but after examination of the man’s action it is clear that he is not a man, but a creature. One of the most malevolent and deceptive creatures we find in the book. It is remarkable how much the Marquis does not care for human life and how great a pleasure he receives from being hated and despised. The man lived by violence so it is only fitting that he dies by violence.