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THE NEW AMERICAN, INC. Published in the year 1960 354

PAGES Guillermo Chiu Social Studies Period / G Summary of

Novel "A Tale of Two Cities" is written by Charles Dickens

and it takes place in France and England during the troubled

times of the French Revolution. The characters travels to both

country but most of the story happens in Paris, France. The

hot spot of the French revolutionists, mostly takes place in a

wineshop in Paris, because the wineshop owner is Ernest

Defarge and his wife, Madame Defarge are the key leaders

and officials of the revolution. The action in the book takes

place in many parts of Paris, such as the Bastille, Tellson´s

Bank, the home of the Manettes and largely in the streets of

Paris. This places help introduce many characters into the

story. One of the main characters, Madame Theresa Defrage,

is a major antagonist who seeks revenge. She is a very tense

and unforgiving woman who seeks revenge on the

Evermonde family. Through out the story, she weave shrouds

for the intended victims of the revolution. Charles Darnay, one

of whom Mrs. Defarge is seeking revenge, is constantly being

put on the stand and wants no part of his own lineage. He is

languid protagonist and has a tendency to get arrested and

must be bailed out several times during the story. Dr.

Alexander Manette, a veteran prisoner of the Bastille and

moderate protagonist, cannot escape the memory of being

held and sometimes fall back to cobbling shoes, he plays a

very significant part in the story. His daughter , Lucie Manette,

a positive protagonist, is loved by many and marries Charles

Darnay. She is a quiet, emotional person and discriminating

protagonist in the story. One who never forgot the love of

Lucie, was Sydney Carton, who starts off as a frustrated,

immature alcoholic, but in the end, he made the ultimate

sacrifice for a good friend. This are the characters that gives

the interesting and dramatic plot to the story. Carton was

deeply in love with Lucie and is always telling her that he

loves her so much that he would do anything for her but Lucie

ends up marring Darnay, a few days after their marriage when

they were on their honeymoon, Dr. Manette has a fall back

and cobbles shoes for nine straight days. France´s citizens

arm themselves for a revolutoin led by the Defarges and

starts the revolution by riding to Bastille. Shortly before they

start the revolution, the Marquis runs over a child in the street

of Paris. The child´s father, Gaspard who is part of the

revolution murders Marquis. Three years later Darnay is

called back to Paris to help his friend Gabelle, when Darnay

was walking on the street of Paris he got arrested for being

an enemy of the country. Lucie and her father Dr. Manette

goes to Paris to see if they can be of any help to Darnay.

Darnay is release from prison but the same day he is

re-arrested on charges set forth by the Defrages and one

other unknown person. The next day Darnay sent to trial and

is convicted and sentence to death. Here is when the heroe

comes and with spy s finds out in which prison he is

encarcelated, he goes and drugs Darnay, while Darnay was

drug, Carton switches place with Darnay. Lucie, Charles

Darnay and their daughter leaves Paris safely while Sydney

Carton makes his final sacrifice and is taking to the guillotine

in place of Darnay. Summary of the Standard Historical

Source The French Revolution is a cataclysmic political and

social upheaval, extending from 1789 to1799. The revolution

resulted, among other things, in the overthrow of the Bourdon

monarchy in France and in the establishment of the First

Republic. It was generated by a vast complex of causes, the

most important of which were the inability of the ruling classes

of nobility, divine, and bourgeoisie to come to grips with the

problems of the state, the indecisive nature of the monarch,

extortionate taxation of the peasantry. Another cause was the

accession of Louis XVI in 1774 which lasted for a century, the

French government had undergone periodic economic crises,

resulting from the long wars waged during the reign of Louis

XIV. The rebellion continued the challenge of royal decrees

and the mutinous mood of the royal army forced the king to

capitulate. On June 27 he ordered the refractory nobility and

clergy to join the unicameral legislature, which then

designated itself the National Constituent Assembly. Yielding

to pressure from the queen and the d´Artois. At the same time,

Necker, the popular apostle of a regenerated france, was

again dismissed from the government. The people of Paris

reacted to these provocative acts with open insurrection.

Rioting began on July 12, and on July 14 the Bastille, a royal

prison that symbolized the despotism of the Bourdons, was

stormed and captured. Ever since the Parisian outburst,

violence, occasional local disturbances and peasant uprisings

against oppressive nobles occurred in many parts of france,

alarming the propertied bourgeoisie, prominent reactionaries,

the first of the so called émigrés, fled the country. The

Parisian bourgeoisie, fearful that the lower classes of the city

would take further advantage of the collapse of the old

administrative machine and resort again to direct action,

hastily established a provisional local government and

organized a people´s militia, officially designated the National

Guard. The National Guard was placed under the command

of the marquis de Lafayette,a hero of the American

Revolution. Unable to stem the rising tide of revolt, Louis XVI

withdrew his loyal troops. He recalled Necker, and then

formally legalized the measures that had been talken by the

provisional authorities. Later in July, an invading army of

émigrés was defeated in Brittany. The National Convention

then quickly completed the draft of a new constitution.

Formally approved on August 22, 1795, the new basic law of

France vested executive authority in a Directory. Comparison

of Two Sources There wasn´t a lot of differences on the two

sources, they are both based on the french revolution so their

isn´t a lot to say about their differences but a little more to

their similarities, for example of novel and historical source

had a cause for the revolution, but the novel might be set on a

few people in particular, on the other hand the real historical

happenings affected the whole state and was a million times

more complex than how the novel described it. I think that the

events that occurred in the novel might have some real

happenings that occurred in the Real french revolution, but

not so big, I mean maybe families like Lucie´s were separated

and many people died of course but I do not think that any

man or woman sacrifice his or her life for some one the way

that Sydney Carton did for Charles Darnay. Both novel and

real event were very similar in some points but the real event I

don´t think was so dramatic as the novel, it´s just too much

drama for a real event that had happen in real life. Your

Opinion of the Historical Novel My personal opinion about "A

tale of two cities" written by Charles Dickens is that the novel

is a very long and detailed historical novel. It is my opinion

that the major strength of this book was the suspense and

drama of it involved to keep the reader hooked and not

putting the book down for one single second. There are

always occasion that keep the reader asking themselves

"what´s going to happen now?" For example "Will Dr. Manette

ever be himself again?" and so on. A major weakness of this

novel, is that the fact that it was so very long and it has a

pretty advances vocabulary for me. "A Tale of two cities" uses

words such as "capricious" or "coquette" and even

"tergiversation" what ever that means, the good side of these

words is that if you don´t know them, you would probibly

check the word out in a dictionary for the meaning of it and b

doing this it will expand your knowledge of your vocabulary,

but in other words this piece of work by Charles Dickens is a

good book to read, however I would not recommended to

people with english as their second language.

Word Count: 1406


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