Topic : A Tale of Two Cities

Shape Shape

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.

main text

Book the First—Recalled to Life CHAPTER I. The Period 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, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far [...]

key facts

A Tale of Two Cities” is a famous historical novel by Charles Dickens. Look at the key facts of the novel to get a quick conception.

  • Full Title: A Tale of Two Cities
  • Author: Charles Dickens
  • Type Of Work: Novel
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Language: English

Moral lesson: Love, sacrifice, and selflessness are tremendous forces that may transform individuals and nations, and redemption and resurrection are conceivable even in the darkest times.


The main story begins; in 1775, an employee of the Tellson's Bank, Jarvis Lorry, is on his way from London to Dover to meet Lucie Manette, daughter of Dr. Manette. On the way, a messenger from Tellson's Bank named Jerry Cruncher stops Jarvis Lorry to inform him. The note reads..


"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens is a novel set during the tumultuous times of the French Revolution. It explores many important themes. Let's explore the central themes in the novel.


Resurrection is one of the central themes of the novel. There are sundry Characters in the book who are resurrected physically and metaphorically throughout the story. For example, Sydney Carton initially leads a dissolute life. He finds redemption through his selfless sacrifice to Charles Darney. Similarly, Charles Darnay is figuratively resurrected from his family's troubled past in France. Jerry Cruncher was resurrected after seeing the tragic scene of the French Revolution.


Charles Darnay

Charles Darnay is the central character of the novel. He is of royal birth and a French immigrant living in England. He has denied his noble French ancestry. He used to lead a modest and humble life and work as a tutor in England.  He has a strong position on justice, fairness, and honesty. His moral integrity starkly contrasts the corruption and cruelty of the French aristocracy. He is charged with sedition in London by his friend. He marries Dr. Manet's daughter, Lucy, the heroine of the novel.

Sydney Carton

 Carton is an alcoholic lawyer who looks exactly like Charles Darnay and loves Lucy Manet.  He struggles with inner turmoil and self-doubt. His sacrifice reflects his desire to find meaning and redemption in a life he once considered meaningless. His selfless love, sacrifice and spiritual redemption make him an unforgettable character in the literary world history.

literary devices


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 authors 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.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,...........

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.