A Tale of Two Cities : literary devices

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A Tale of Two Cities is a notable literary work by Charles Dickens. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of A Tale of Two Cities.

literary devices

The figures of speech and literary devices are the most important parts of any literary work. In “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, several literary devices and figures of speech exist. Let’s try to explore it:


A simile is a figure of speech that compares two unlike things using the words “like” or “as” to create a vivid and imaginative connection between them. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” In the line, “it was” is used to compare and contrast two opposing situations.


A metaphor is a figure of speech directly comparing two unlike things. The novel “Recalled to Life” is a metaphor. It symbolizes resurrection. It refers to Dr. Manette’s release from imprisonment and return to the world.


Allusion is a literary device where the author or writer indirectly mentions other events, places, or works in their literary work. In the novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” Dickens uses allusions to historical events and religious texts to provide context and depth to the narrative.


The Bastille, a prison in Paris, is used in the novel as a symbol of tyranny and oppression. It symbolizes the oppressive regime in France during the French Revolution.


Irony means the difference between expectation and reality.
Charles Darnay’s unfair treason complaint exemplifies situational irony in the novel.


Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which something is exaggerated. In the novel, Charles Dickens exaggerates poverty and suffering among the French peasants. He uses hyperbolic language to describe the poverty and suffering of the common people of France and England.