A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens Year Published: Average
The story begins with a mail coach that goes to Dover. Suddenly a traveler, Jerry Cruncher, comes to tell Mr. Lorry, a business and bank teller Lucie Manette has arrived at Dover hotel. After Mr. Lorry arrives at the hotel, he asks Lucie if she could go to Paris to “bring back to life” (help recover him from relapse from 18 of prison) her father, Dr. Manette; Lucie agrees. Lucie and Mr. Lorry enter Mr. and Mrs. Defarge shop in Paris. Before talking to Lucie, Mr. Defarge talks to two people called “Jacques”, who are secret revolutionaries. Then Defarge leads Lucie and Lorry to a dark room where Dr. Manette is making shoes. Lucie is touched to finally meet her father after 18 years. She decides to take him to England. In England, there is a court case in 1780, when Charles Darnay is accused of treason on leaking info to another country. Sydney Caron, who resembles Charles Darnay, finds a way to free Darnay on the account of both looking alike and that evidence is not conclusive that Darnay was guilty. After a few years, Darnay becomes close to Lucie. During recent visit to Lucie, Darnay tells a story of how a worker found a letter written by an unknown prisoner (Dr. Manette) in North tower. Back in Paris, Marquis Evrémonde, an aristocrat, rides in a wagon runs over a child. The Marquis simply tosses a coin to Gaspard, the killed child’s father, which shows how evil the Marquis is. Gaspard follow the Marquis to his estate. Here, Charles Darnay, nephew of the Marquis, argues with Marquis and tells he will not accept the title lord of the estate. They go to sleep and Gaspard sneaks in Marquises room and stabs him. Back in England, Sydney Carton confesses that he like Lucie, but she is not interested. Lucie decides to marry Darnay In her knitting she names all those that were to be killed during the revolution. Although Dr. Manette is surprised to learn that Darnay is the nephew of the evil Marquis, he approves Lucie’s free choice. The French Revolution begins and after the storming of the Bastille, led by the Defarges, the “Jacques” set Marquis’s chateau on fire and captured Gabelle, a tax collector. Gabelle writes a letter to Darnay telling him to come and save him. Darnay feeling that it was his fault Gabelle was in his situation decides to go to France only to be imprisoned in La Force. When Lucie and Manette realized that Darnay was jailed, they depart to save him. Because Dr. Manette was a prisoner in Bastille for trying to expose the evils of an aristocrat, he was able to arrange a court case in try Darnay. At first, the court case goes Darnay’s way when Darnay proved he gave up his title of estate because of the immoral practices of the aristocrats. But soon Darnay is arrested again because Mr. Defarge found a letter, written by Dr. Manette in north tower that condemned the Marquis and his family. The letter tells the story of how Darnay’s uncle, the Marquis, abused a women and killed her brother. Dr. Manette was called to help the injured brother, but he couldn’t; instead, Dr. Manette learned the truth about Marquis’s acts. Marquis arrests Dr. Manette and puts him in prison in North Tower. Dr. Manette in the letter wrote how depraved the Marquis was, and he condemns in family. By reading the letter, Mr. Defarge convinces the jury that Darnay must pay for the act of his uncle. In England, Sydney Carton hears the news and goes to France. After finding out Darnay’s whereabouts, Carton gives his traveling document to Mr. Lorry and goes to meet Darnay in jail. Carton makes a switch himself with Darnay; because they resemble each other so closely, no one distinguishes the difference. Carton keeps his promise of giving up his life to help Lucie. Darnay, now with Lucie, escapes to England. Mrs. Defarge is now bent on destroying Darnay’s family and goes to arrest Lucie, but instead finds Miss Pross, Lucie’s loyal servant. Mrs. Defarge asks for Lucie, but Miss Pross refuses to tell Lucie’s location, and so they both get into a fight; Mrs. Defarge takes her gun to shoot, but Miss Pross manages to redirect it to kill Mrs. Defarge. She escapes to England with Lucie. In Paris, Carton is brought to the guillotine. He looks at the future of Lucie’s family and is happy to give his life to save Lucie’s love for Darnay. He sees Lucie naming a child after him and telling the story of the heroic Carton. And so he happily dies. Then Darnay’s mother, who found out, soon hid the sister of the women (Mrs. Defarge) from the Marquis. I was drawn to this book because This gave me a very good idea of how horrible the French Revolution was to both the peasants and the aristocrats.

Note: This book is available in our Library.