Few years ago, if someone told me to stay permanently in the city where I spent four years of my life studying economics, I would tell them they’re crazy and they should go lock themselves in a nuthouse! But right now, after almost two years of living back in my birth town, I think I miss that city where I spent the first few years of my adulthood; because in that city I had unique and wonderful experiences. I managed to create memories, than soon became stories. And if few more years pass, those stories will become a tale. The tale of two cities. Just like Charles Dickens’!
This 19th century book, is probably the novel with the most famous introductory quotes in the history of fiction. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
For those very few of you who haven’t read that novel yet, A Tale of Two Cities is set both in Paris and London. Dr. Manette is incarcerated in the Bastille for eighteen years, while his daughter, Lucie, grows up in London, thinking that she’s an orphan.
Charles Darnay leaves France because of his hatred for his family. He falls in love with Lucie and the two of them get married. However, there is another man who loves Lucie and will stop at nothing; he will do anything for her sake.
This superbly awesome tale talks about love, war, sacrifice and tragic heroism. It is probably one of the best classic novels, at least according to me. Dickens manages to express his admiration for all those people who refuse to surrender their lives, their values and their ethics. However, as the story unfolds, he clearly sees what the bloodbaths and the horror cause to the human soul; every noble ideal is replaced by blood thirst and madness.
I know that because of the vocabulary Dickens used, it may be difficult for some of you to enjoy the novel to the fullest. But, the story is an epic tragedy and it needs to use and contain all those massive words that were used during the 18 and the 19 hundreds. How else could the characters express their true motives and their true selves?
I’m talking about none other than Madame Defarge. She’s so bloodthirsty and her lust for vengeance knows no limits. She’s heartless and cruel! Unlike her husband of course, who is a true leader!
You may ask why I haven’t mention Sydney yet. It is because I think that it is extremely rare for a human to change completely just because he fell in love with a woman. There must be something else. An alternate motive. Something that he probably loves more. Power, wealth, posthumous fame… Men like Sydney can’t change over night. Except they experience something that will completely shock them!
However, since I’m an eternal romantic, I believe that it is truly beautiful what Dickens tries to show to his audience; that hope never dies and that everyone deserves a chance to become a better person!
Don’t feel discouraged by the fact that this novel seems quite confusing at the beginning; I felt like that, too. But then I managed to see the magic and the beauty behind the words. It is truly epic! And you will definitely love it!
For more information and reviews, you can also follow that link. You’ll probably find my review written there, as well.
I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts, not only about my review, but also about the novel in general.
Till next time…