A Tale of Two Cities : quotations

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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.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Explanation: The above famous quote is derived from Charles Dickens‘s (1812- 1870) novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” It highlights the stark contrasts and contradictions in society and the characters’ lives during the turbulent times of the French Revolution. Dickens uses these paradoxes to explore the human condition and the impact of societal upheaval on individuals.


Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.

Explanation: The above quotation is cited from Charles Dickens’s (1812-1870) novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” Here, the author expresses a powerful idea about the cycle of history and human behavior. It refers to how history tends to repeat itself. If we don’t learn from the past and make positive changes, we will continue to see the same kinds of suffering and injustice in our world. So, this quote reminds us that societies must break free from these cycles of cruelty and oppression to create a better future for all.


She was the golden thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery, and to a Present beyond his misery: and the sound of her voice, the light of her face, the touch of her hand, had a strong beneficial influence with him almost always.

Explanation: This quote comes from Charles Dickens’s (1812-1870) famous novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” Here, the author talks about a woman named Lucie Manette, the novel’s heroine, who plays a crucial role in the life of a character named Charles Darnay. Lucie is described as the “golden thread” that connects Darnay to his past and present. It reminds him of better days and strengthens him to face the present. It shows the power of love to heal and comfort, the central theme of the novel “A Tale of Two Cities.”


I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you.

Explanation: This quote comes from the famous novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens (1812-1870). By this statement, the speaker expresses his deep love and willingness to sacrifice for his beloved and those who are related to him and love her. It refers to the theme of sacrifice and love.  Dickens uses this theme to explore the idea that love and sacrifice can bring about positive change, even in the darkest times.


“This property and France are lost to me,” said the nephew sadly; “I renounce them.”

Explanation: By this statement, Charles Darnay gives up his ownership of the land and station as Marquis during his cruel and bloodthirsty uncle’s death. And he feels sorrow for the evils and misdeeds of his family for wealth and status.


For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you.

Explanation: After conveying his love for Lucie, Sydney Carton promises Lucie Manette that he will make any sacrifice for her or her family. Finally, he can keep this promise by sacrificing his life for Lucie’s happiness, and he saves Lucy’s husband’s life.


Like the fabled rustic who raised the Devil with infinite pains and was so terrified at the sight of him that he could ask the Enemy no question but immediately fled…

Explanation: By this statement, the narrator parallels the upper class of France to a story about a farmer who tried to conjure the devil. But he was frightened when he saw the devil’s appearance and ran away. Here, Dickens tells us that While the aristocrats don’t cause the revolution, their treatment of the serfs and peasants of society can’t bring any outcome. Rather, the upper class and the revolutionaries somehow are responsible for the revolution.


In both countries, it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes that things in general were settled forever.

Explanation: This quote by the narrator indicates that the storm of the French Revolution is brewing. It refers to the sense of happiness of the upper classes of society. Here, the word word “crystal” gives a message that the happiness of the upper-class people will not be long last.


I see a beautiful city and brilliant people rising from this abyss.

Explanation: This quote comes from the famous novel “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens (1812-1870).  Sydney Carton says it before his death, rectifies himself and sacrifices his life to save Darney’s life.