A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens wroteA Tale of Two Citiesas a warning to the British people that the events in France could very well happen in the British Isles. As an admirer of Thomas Carlyle and being a disciple of Carlyle’s transcendentalism, Dickens concentrated his writings on the reformation of British society by attacking its shortcomings, particularly the inequalities of social classes and the use of prisons for debts and politics. Since Dickens wrote this novel as a monthly serial, there is a definite quick pace to it. Every chapter seems to have a cliffhanger that compels the reader to continue reading in order to see what happens next. While the novel can be accused of being melodramatic as times, overall the work is realistic and has the rare quality of appealing to both the mind and the soul. The study guide has many historical notes and a synopsis of the French Revolution and how the revolution even affected the United States seventy years later.