© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

  

by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities Analysis

Literary Devices in A Tale of Two Cities

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Dickens isn’t exactly placing this metaphor delicately into his readers’ hands. He’s shoving it down our throats. If you missed the part where he warns us that blood will soon spi...

Setting

Okay, this is a huge one. You can probably guess from the title of this novel (that’s A Tale of Two Cities, in case you’ve forgotten) that the actual events occurring in the cities are pretty i...

Narrator Point of View

Dickens likes to play the Voice of God. His narrator tends to know it all. Not in a bad way—it’s more like the voice of your favorite high school teacher and Oprah all rolled into one.See, for...

Genre

Well, A Tale of Two Cities is largely a tale of the French Revolution. That’s about as historical as you can get. Here’s the difference between "history" and "historical fiction," though: histo...

Tone

Fanboy-ing out on Thomas Carlyle’s History of the French Revolution, Dickens decided to try his hand at historical fiction. It wasn’t something that he often did. In fact, A Tale of Two Cities...

Writing Style

Charles Dickens is the King of Style. We’ll say that again: when it comes to style, Charles Dickens is the King. He’s the grand-daddy of all great fiction writers. The best stylist you’ll pro...

What’s Up With the Title?

Dickens is a master of self-descriptive titles. David Copperfield is about a little boy named David Copperfield. Oliver Twist is about a little boy named Oliver Twist. Little Dorrit is about a litt...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

Hmm…let’s talk about the author’s note instead, shall we?Good ol’ Charles Dickens. He always tries to make his readers feel like his pals. Maybe that’s why he remained such a popular figu...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Spoiler: Sydney Carton dies. In fact, Sydney Carton and fifty-one other people die. In our first up-close encounter with the guillotine, we get front-row seats as hoards of "patriots" flock to the...

Plot Analysis

Released from prison in France, Doctor Manette starts a new life in England.Falsely imprisoned for almost two decades, the good doctor emerges from prison a broken man. With the help of his old ser...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

We see the consequences of injustice through the character of Doctor. Manette. The poor are treated horribly in France.Okay, here’s the deal: this novel has no actual monsters. There's no Godzi...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Dickens makes this easy for us. He divides the novel into three sections. The first is "Recalled to Life." In it, Dr. Manette is… recalled to life. He’s released from prison and is cared for by...

Trivia

Think Dickens invented his accounts of the English court system? Think again. (Source)Want to know more about the French Revolution? Read on: the French Revolution was perhaps the single most impor...

Steaminess Rating

Everything’s honorable and above-board in this novel, folks. After all, Dickens was a family man. He wrote family stories. Whole families used to get together to read the newest edition of his no...

Allusions

The Bible (3.9.89)Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution (note to the reader)Wilkie Collins, The Frozen Deep (note to the reader)French Revolution The Storming of the Bastille None. Sorry, guys. Thi...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement