A Tale Of Two Cities Analysis Essay Example
A Tale Of Two Cities Analysis Essay Example

A Tale Of Two Cities Analysis Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 3 (601 words)
  • Published: September 24, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
View Entire Sample
Text preview

Charles Dickens effectively builds atmosphere throughout ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by employing various techniques at key plot points. The arrival of the messenger at the Dover Mail creates a haunting tone that foreshadows future events, while the actions of characters in Dr Manette’s tower room in France add to the overall ambiance.

Dickens correlates various concepts and ideas to the places in his writing. During Jerry's journey to locate the Dover mail and convey a message to Mr Lorry, Dickens creates an enigmatic, somber atmosphere that implies a grim outcome. Initially, the mist is depicted as 'an evil spirit' which hints at it being alive or possessing some 'unfinished business' on Earth, suggesting that it has an agenda. The mist's effort to engulf the carriage indicates an animosity against something or someone on board. Seco


ndly, all travellers on the mail doubt each other; withholding information out of fear that it may be used against them. Although these circumstances are not conclusive, they lead the reader to believe that something significant - most likely unpleasant and involving one of the passengers - is about to take place.

The atmosphere in the attic where Dr Manette is staying after his release from captivity is distinctly different. The men who are being shown Manette remain near the doorway without entering, while Lucie Manette enters cautiously and "crept around the wall" to reach the edge of the room. Such behavior suggests a certain degree of mystery or even ominousness about Manette, who appears to be actively distancing himself from others except for Lucie. It could be argued that Manette is truly "dead" or "unconscious" (as Dickens suggests

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

throughout the novel, lack of love can be equated with death), and that he and those around him are opposites that repel each other.

The fact that Manette is confined in a small dark room at the top of a tower creates a sense of imprisonment. While prisons are usually used to protect people from danger, sometimes they are utilized to conceal or diminish someone's influence. When asked if he could tolerate more light, it implies that he has been secluded for an extended period, forgotten what light is, and cannot bear it anymore. There is a mysterious and secretive atmosphere surrounding the situation, leaving readers with unanswered questions such as why he was imprisoned in the first place.

Dickens associates certain places with societal concepts or ideas he dislikes. The roads traveled by the Dover Mail are linked to crime, robbery, and fear, highlighting society's lack of trust in one another. Similarly, the attic room and Carton's home represent being cut off from love and the world, which Dickens equates to death. When Lucie returns to Manette's side, he is free from imprisonment and the tower of isolation. Even after his actual release from prison, he remained trapped until love was restored to his life.

In Dickens’s eyes, the general public are commonly deemed as ‘blue-flies’ that buzz and search for victims in places such as the courtroom. This setting is associated with death and portrays Dickens’s disdain towards the harshness of the law. Additionally, the author links the courtroom to the public's desire for punishment and their responsibility for every execution rather than the assigned jury or judge. Ultimately, A Tale of

Two Cities conveys the story of a few individuals, specifically Dr Manette, and their personal evolution through love and sacrifice, particularly from Lucie Manette.

Before Lucie discovered him, Dr Manette was just a crazy inmate, but after she found him, he was "recalled to life."

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds