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A Tale of Two Cities
English 2 Honors

Tale of Two Cities Hypertext


A Tale of Two Cities

1. a. epoch- A particular period of history, especially one considered remarkable or noteworthy.
b. Cock-lane- a supposed apparition, the vagaries of which attracted extraordinary public attention in
during 1762.
c. trident- A long, three-pronged fork or weapon, especially a three-pronged spear used for fishing.
d. framework- A structure for supporting or enclosing something else, especially a skeletal support used as the basis for something being constructed.
e. outhouses- A small, enclosed structure having one or two holes in a seat built over a pit and serving as an outdoor toilet.
f. tillers- One that tills land.

2. Paradox is a statement that seemingly contradicts it self, but looking more it to it makes it true. The Best of times would be for the upper class, the worst of time would be for the lower class. Also when it says it was the age of wisdom because it was the time the wealthy enjoyed the study and learning, while the poor had to come from schooling and work in the farms to support the wealthy making it also the age of foolishness.

3. Dickens uses paradox in the first paragraph to show how the way we think of living, and also to show the way people lived in
England and France. We are self center and think that everything revolves around you. This is like saying that the sun shines in the morning and sets in the night which is not true because our planet revolves around the sun.

4. 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 like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of
England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France
. 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 for ever.
It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to
England at that favoured period, a sat this. Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five- and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects in America
: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood.
France, less favoured on the whole as to matters spiritual than her sister of the shield and trident, rolled with exceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money and spending it. Under the guidance of her Christian pastors, she entertained herself besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers, and his body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to comedown and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses old some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts, be spattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But that Woodman and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly, work silently, and no one heard them as they went about with muffled tread: the rather, for as much as to entertain any suspicion that they were awake, was to be atheistical and traitorous.
, there was scarcely an amount of order and protection to justify much national boasting. Daring burglaries by armed men, and highway robberies, took place in the capital itself every night; families were publicly cautioned not to go out of town without removing their furniture to upholsterers' warehouses for security; the highwayman in the dark was a City tradesman in the light, and, being recognised and challenged by his fellow-tradesman whom he stopped in his character of `the Captain, ' gallantly shot him through the head and rode away; the mail was waylaid by seven robbers, and the guard shot three dead, and then got shot dead himself by the other four, `in consequence of the failure of his ammunition:' after which the mail was robbed in Peace; that magnificent potentate, the Lord Mayor of London, was made to stand and deliver on Turnham Green, by one highwayman, who despoiled the illustrious creature insight of all his retinue; prisoners in London gaols fought battles with their turnkeys, and the majesty of the law fired blunderbusses in among them, loaded with rounds of shot and ball; thieves snipped off diamond crosses from the necks of noble lords at Court drawing-rooms; musketeers went into St. Giles's, to search for contraband goods, and the mob fired on the musketeers, and the musketeers fired on the mob, and nobody thought any of these occurrences much out of the common way. In the midst of them, the hangman, ever busy and ever worse than useless, was in constant requisition; now, stringing up long rows of miscellaneous criminals; now, hanging a house-breaker on Saturday who had been taken on Tuesday; now, burning people in the hand at Newgate by the dozen, and now burning pamphlets at the door of Westminster

Historical Events:
4. a."it was the age of wisdom", this time was also called the Elizabethan Age. Click this website for more.
b. "There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of
." Click this website
c. "Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years" Click this website
d. "It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to comedown and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history." The French revolution. More info click here:
e. Getting ready for the revolution. Click for more info:
5. "Stand and deliver", would be screamed out by highway drives which meant that you deliver the thing they told you or would be killed by saying in other words, "your money or your life."

6. The farmer is symbolized as death because the farmer stays with what life gives him. The woodman is symbolized as fate because as the woodman goes and cuts down tree he just might have luck to make life change for him.




Chapter 18-20 Questions


  1. Who does Miss Pross feel would have been better bridegroom? What clue have you learned here?

Miss Pross thinks her brother Solomon would be a better bridegroom. Miss Pross dislikes Darnay.

  1. Why does Dr. Manette go into a trance for nine days?

He is worried and upset about Lucy’s marriage to Darnay and his connection to the Marquis.

Chapter 19

  1. Why do Lorry and Manette speak of the shoemaker in third person?

The shoemaker is his double personality and he wants to rid this personality.

  1. What advice does Lorry give Manette about maintaining the shoe materials?

Lorry tells Manette to destroy them.

  1. How do Lorry and Miss Pross eradicate the shoe materials?

They hack the bench to pieces, burn the bench, and burry the leather and shoe making materials.   

Chapter 20

  1. What two requests does Carton have of Darnay?

He asks if they can be friends and forgive each other.

  1. What does Lucie tell Darnay about Carton?

Lucie tells Darnay that Carton is a deeply wounded person and he needs compassion.



Book One Questions



    7. The letter-de-cachet was one of the serious abuses of the French monarchy that led to the revolution.  Through its use, the king or a powerful nobleman could have a person suddenly or secretly thrown into prison for life without trial or even a statement of charges.  (see Mr. Lorry’s explanation to Lucie on page 20, lines 23-34)

    1. What is Mr. Lorry hinting to Lucie concerning what had happened to Dr. Manette?  Specifically, what are the “blank forms”?  From your knowledge of French history can you guess what the “dreadful place” was?


Mr. Lorry is hinting to Lucie that her father is still alive but has disappeared into the Bastille. The Blank forms are the notes that nobility can write accusing a person of a crime and immediately have them put into jail.


    1. This information helps to put part of the jigsaw together.  What important questions are raised in the mind of the reader concerning those past events in Dr. Manette’s life?


There are some questions raised in the readers mind by this passage:  What was the doctors life like that caused him to disappear, and is he really dead? “What part did he play in the action that caused his arrest?” “How did he escape?” “What did he do with his wife and child before his arrest?”


  1. Dickens often makes a word do two jobs.  The word may have a simple meaning and a more profound one.  When Dr. Manette, for example, is “recalled to life”, Dickens wants us to draw parallels between Dr. Manette’s nightmarish existence and death itself.  The cell becomes a symbol of death-in-life that Dr. Manette had to endure.
    1. Mr. Lorry thinks that he is going to “dig some one out of a grave.” (page 11, line 19)  How does this _expression apply to Dr. Manette and his imprisonment?

Lucie, Jarvis Lorry, and Madame Defarge go back to France to see Dr. Manette and hoping wthat with Lucie’s help, they might be able to bring Dr. Manette “Recalled to life,” or escape insanity. Also When Dr. Manette was imprisoned, people thought that he was actually dead. To “dig him out of a grave” would be to remind him of his former life and thus bring him “back to life.”    

    1. Chapter 3 is called “The Night Shadows.”  How does the title both describe the time of day and also symbolize Mr. Lorry’s misgivings?  What does Dickens suggest by the sunrise at the end of the chapter?

It is called this because the scene takes place during night, Lorry drifts in and out of dreams, and these shadows are his dreams, ghosts, or the people talking to him when he is half-awake. The title symbolizes his misgivings because of the mystery and fear associated with the night, relating to the mystery of Dr. Manette’s past. With the sunrise, Mr. Lorry is relieved of his misgivings because the mystery is lifted.    

    1. Dickens sometimes makes the symbol obvious.  For example, when the wine spills, someone writes “BLOOD” on the wall.  How does the bursting of the wine cask resemble the outbreak of a revolution?

By writing “BLOOD” on the wall, Dickens represents that the characters are soon planning a bloody revolution and that they were hungry for blood.



        9.By the use of foreshadowing, Dickens prepares us for events to come.  Sometimes these hints are symbolic, as well.

a.       How does the behavior of the people at the spilled-wine episode foreshadow their behavior when revolution came?


The behavior of the people when the wine is spilled is chaotic and they are only looking out to get the wine for themselves. They do not care that it is not rightfully theirs. When the revolution comes, many people will retain the mob-like attitudes they have when the wine is spilled


b.      In the ominous description of Madame Defarge, there is additional foreshadowing of events to come. What is the effect of the phrase “saw nothing”? Do you think she saw nothing? Why or why not?


The effect of the phrase “saw nothing” begs the question exactly what did she see. We believe that she did in fact see something as if she did in fact se nothing then why would the author mention it.


c.       Sometimes the foreshadowing is very subtle. It tantalizes us with just a hint, nothing more. Jerry Cruncher says, “‘You’d be in a Blazing bad way, if recalling to life was to come into fashion Jerry!’” (page 9, lines 2-3) This foreshadows important events to come. What do you think might be the explanation for Jerry’s comment?


When the wine spills it resembles the outbreak of a revolution, because when the wine spills everyone runs toward it and tries to get a drink from the wine, just like how everyone during the revolution ran towards it and wanted to become a part. The Wine is supposed to be like the blood that is spilled during the revolution.