A Tale Of Two Cities Essay

1523 words - 6 pages


     “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This is the famous starting to the book “A Tale of Two Cities,” by Charels Dickens. Charels Dickens is one of the most famous writers of his century. This book tells about the main characters, Lucie and her father.

     The story starts out with Mr. Jarvis Lorry, a representative of Tellson's Bank in London, who is sent by his firm on a mission to Paris. The mission is to meet a newly released prisoner of the Bastille, Doctor Alexandre Manette, in Paris and to bring him back to London to be cared for by his daughter, Lucie Manette. Lucie has but a faint idea of her father's existence and Mr. Lorry is to meet her at Dover and break the news to her.

     When The two meet, Lucie is informed that her father is alive. This news awakens fear and trepidation in her breast and the two journey to Paris. They proceed to a wine shop in the Saint Antoine region and there they meet Ernest Defarge, keeper of the wine shop and a former servant of Dr. Manette's. Defarge has been caring for the doctor pending the arrival of Lucie and Mr. Lorry. The Shopkeeper takes them to a garret room where they see an old, white-haired man making shoes: it is Doctor Manette, who took up the trade in prison and who now thinks of himself only as a shoemaker, having forgotten his earlier existence. After an emotional scene between father and daughter, during which there is a brief flicker of remembrance in the doctor's eyes, arrangements are made for the three to leave Paris immediately. In a short while Defarge bids good-bye to them as the coach sets out for Calais with its three passengers, on the first leg of the trip to London.

     The second book opens five years later. During this time, Dr. Manette has been restored to his old self through Lucie's tender care and father and daughter live in a modest lodging, with Miss Pross, Lucie's old nurse, as maid and general housekeeper. There Dr. Manette carries on a small medical practice.

     One day, Jerry Cruncher, a messenger for Tellson's Bank, is told to go to the Old Bailey, London's Criminal Courts Building, to await a message from Mr. Lorry who is there. Jerry proceeds to the Old Bailey and finds a treason trial in progress. The accused, Charles Darnay, is called a spy for France and several witnesses appear, including Mr. Lorry, Dr. Manette and Lucie, all of whom met Darnay on the packet boat sailing from Calais to Dover on that night five years ago when Dr. Manette was brought to London.

     Things look dark for Darnay, but Mr. Stryver, Darnay's counsel, manages to blacken the characters of two of the witnesses and Stryver's assistant, Sydney Carton, upsets the testimony of a third by calling Stryver's attention to a striking resemblance between himself, Carton, and the prisoner Darnay. Darnay is...

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