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

A Tale Of Two Cities Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1391 words)
  • Published: March 7, 2019
  • Type: Retelling
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This is the famous starting to the book A Tale of Two Cities, by Charels Dickens. Charels Dickens is one of the most famous writers of his century. This book tells about the main characters, Lucie and her father.

The story starts out with Mr. Jarvis Lorry, a representative of Tellson's Bank in London, who is sent by his firm on a mission to Paris. The mission is to meet a newly released prisoner of the Bastille, Doctor Alexandre Manette, in Paris and to bring him back to London to be cared for by his daughter, Lucie Manette. Lucie has but a faint idea of her father's existence and Mr. Lorry is to meet her at Dover and break the news to her.

When Lucie an


d the messenger meet, she is told that her father is alive. This news fills her with fear and anxiety, and the two of them travel to Paris. They go to a wine shop in the Saint Antoine district, where they meet Ernest Defarge. He is the shopkeeper and used to work as a servant for Dr. Manette. Defarge has been taking care of the doctor while waiting for Lucie and Mr. Lorry. He takes them to a small room at the top of the building, where they find an old man with white hair making shoes. It is Doctor Manette, who learned this trade while in prison and now sees himself only as a shoemaker, having forgotten his previous life. After an emotional reunion between father and daughter, in which there is a brief moment of recognition in

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the doctor's eyes, they make plans to leave Paris immediately. Shortly after, Defarge says goodbye to them as they depart on a coach headed for Calais, which is the first stage of their journey to London.

Five years later, the second book begins with the restoration of Dr. Manette's mental state thanks to Lucie's care. Father and daughter now live with Miss Pross, Lucie's former nurse, who also acts as their maid and caretaker. Dr. Manette also runs a small medical practice.

One day, Jerry Cruncher, a messenger for Tellson's Bank, is instructed to go to the Old Bailey, London's Criminal Courts Building, to wait for a message from Mr. Lorry. When he arrives at the Old Bailey, Jerry witnesses a trial for treason in progress. The accused, Charles Darnay, is accused of spying for France. Several witnesses testify against him, including Mr. Lorry, Dr. Manette, and Lucie. All three had crossed paths with Darnay five years ago during a boat journey from Calais to Dover when Dr. Manette was brought to London.

Although the situation seems grim for Darnay, his counsel Mr. Stryver manages to discredit two of the witnesses. Additionally, his assistant Sydney Carton undermines the testimony of a third witness by pointing out the striking resemblance between himself and Darnay. As a result, Darnay is acquitted. However, when Darnay is congratulated after the trial, Dr. Manette's face briefly reveals fear and doubt, hinting at a resurfacing memory.

In France, the revolution is looming as the oppressed peasants toil and starve to enrich the nobility. A Marquis, returning from a grand ball, runs over a child with his carriage without any concern and tosses a gold

coin to the grieving father. That night, his nephew Charles Darnay arrives at the Marquis' estate in an attempt to convince him to help the peasantry, but fails. Later on, the Marquis is murdered in his sleep, intensifying the growing revolution.

Both Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton are enamored with Lucie Manette when she appears during Darnay's trial. Despite being a disheveled and indulgent individual, Carton understands that it would be futile to pursue Lucie romantically. However, he visits her and promises her unwavering friendship and devotion. Darnay confides in Dr. Manette about his feelings for Lucie. The news visibly disturbs Dr. Manette, but he assures Darnay that he will support their union if Lucie reciprocates her love for him.

A new royal spy, John Barsad, who had testified at Darnay's trial, is assigned to the Saint Antoine quarter of Paris. The news quickly spreads to the wine shop and reaches Monsieur and Madame Defarge, leaders of an underground conspiracy planning a revolution.

Barsad visits the wine shop in an attempt to gather information about the unrest among the peasants, but the Defarges refuse to disclose anything. However, when Barsad reveals that Lucie is engaged to Charles Darnay, the nephew of the murdered Marquis, Defarge shows some emotion. The spy takes note of this before departing.

On Lucie's wedding day, Darnay fulfills the prior agreement and reveals his true identity to Dr. Manette before the ceremony. Once Lucie and Charles are married, they depart for their honeymoon. The revelation has a profound impact on Dr. Manette, causing him to lose stability and return to his former shoemaking profession. However, after nine days, he miraculously recovers and prepares

to join Lucie and Charles. Meanwhile, Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross destroy Dr. Manette's shoemaking equipment. Shortly after the Darnays' return, Sydney Carton arrives and asks Darnay if they can be friends, which Darnay eagerly accepts.
On a different note, the situation in France worsens with many nobles fleeing for their lives, taking their valuables or sending them to England. Mr. Lorry is busy at the bank dealing with business from their French customers. The bank asks Mr. Lorry to return to Paris to address the chaotic affairs there. On the day of his departure, while conversing with Charles Darnay at Tellson's, a letter is delivered. The letter is addressed to Charles' true name, Marquis Saint Evremonde, known only to Dr. Manette. Darnay takes the letter and promises to deliver it.Manette receives a letter from his representative in France, who has been arrested by the Revolutionary government. The representative's life is in danger because he is associated with a despised nobleman. Darnay decides to go back to Paris to save the representative's life. That night, he leaves London and arrives in Paris where he is thrown into prison. When Dr. Manette, Lucie, Miss Pross, and little Lucie hear about Charles' situation, they rush to Paris. Dr. Manette, having been a prisoner in the Bastille before, has influence with the Revolutionary government and manages to keep Charles safe, although he can't arrange for his release. Numerous prisoners are being killed during this time. Finally, after many months, Darnay is put on trial and thanks to Dr. Manette's influence, he is released. Darnay reunites with Lucie, but less than 24 hours later, he is arrested again. This time,

he is accused by Defarge and another person. At the trial, it is revealed that the other person is Dr. Manette himself. The reason for Darnay's arrest is an old diary written by Dr. Manette during his time in prison that Defarge found on the day the Bastille fell. In the diary, Dr. Manette curses the Evremonde family for causing his imprisonment and Charles Darnay, being the last living descendant of the family of Saint Evremonde, is also cursed by the doctor. Darnay is sentenced to death within 24 hours. Dr.ManetteDespite Manette's repeated attempts to secure his release, Darnay's freedom cannot be obtained. However, upon Sydney Carton's arrival in Paris, he devises a plan to save Darnay from his impending fate. Carton coerces John Barsad, who currently works as a prison spy, to assist him in executing the scheme. With the help of Barsad, Carton successfully enters Darnay's prison cell, exchanges clothing with him, administers a sedative, and then orchestrates Darnay's departure with Barsad. Waiting outside in a coach are Mr. Lorry, Lucie, and Dr. Manette. Carton voluntarily remains behind in Darnay's place within the cell.

Carton, who is known as Saint Evremonde, is executed in place of Charles Darnay as he had promised Lucie. In her hatred for the Saint Evremonde family, Madame Defarge plans to eliminate the entire family and heads to Lucie's lodgings. However, only Miss Pross is present and a fight breaks out between the two women. In the end, Madame Defarge is killed, while the ones she despised flee to England for safety.

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