Study Guide

A Tale of Two Cities Politics

By Charles Dickens

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When an entire country decides to revolt against the ruling class, a couple of conversations about politics are certainly going to happen along the way. Unfortunately, too much of what passes for "politics" in France during the decades before the revolution seems to be "whatever the rich can get away with."

When the poor of the nation decide that they can become political players as well, violence erupts. As the central characters in A Tale of Two Cities find out, no one can really escape playing a political role when a nation’s in turmoil.

Questions About Politics

  1. Is Sydney’s vision for France one that’s based on the events that have occurred in the novel?
  2. The political records of the revolutionaries are kept in Madame Defarge’s knitting. How does the novel depict women’s role in politics?
  3. Are national politics separable from family politics in this novel?

Chew on This

A woman’s place is in the home: women involved in the political action in A Tale of Two Cities transform into inhuman, savage creatures.

The complicated relationship between family life and political life in A Tale of Two Cities makes the women who engage in revolutionary activities the most interesting characters in the novel.

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