Doubles and opposites: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, (...)" In the first chapter of A Tale of Two cities, Dickens emphasizes the fact of how bad the people lived. "It was the worst of times," due to mistreatment from the third estate. But it was also the "best of times," for the nobles, and higher class people who could actually afford things, and weren't mistreated and starved.
"(...) 'John Solomon, or Solomon John?' (...)" When Lorry, Miss Pross, and Cruncher figure out John Barsad, the spy, is actually Miss Pross's brother Cruncher replies by saying "John Solomon, or Solomon John?" Trying to make it obvious they couldn't trust him, and didn't really know who he truly is! But soon enough they figure out his intentions aren't all bad, and they can actually use him with some blackmail!
Love/Hate and Light/Dark "The village had its one poor street, with its poor brewery, poor tannery, poor tavern (...)" In this sequence of descriptions of poor sights of the town, Dickens is trying to emphasizes the poor side of this beautiful town, and how miserable the people are. "The village had its one poor street, (...) he said. Dickens wants people to realize how poor and miserable these people are prior to the French Revolution, and he wants also to emphesize what lead up to it happening.
"(...) tears immediately rolled down several ferocious countenances which had been glaring at the prisoner a moment before, as if with impatience to pluck him out into the streets and kill him." In this quotation, Dickens is trying to show the sympathy Charles Darnay got from the people, who moments ago where cheering to get him killed. "(...) tears immediately rolled down several ferocious countenances," Dickens wrote. He wanted the reader to know the nature of these people in the French Revolution. Dickens wanted us to see the cold hearted ways of these people, but he also wanted us to see why they did it, and that they actually do have hearts.
Fate " (...) scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine lees - BLOOD." From the beginning of the book, Dickens emphasizes the fate of these people. "BLOOD," will be shed in the French Revolution, and the man who "scrawled upon a wall," will be the main start of it all. The fate of these people will ultimately be ended, or surrounded by blood and Dickens wanted us to realize that.
"It does not take a long time.' said Madame Defarge, 'for an earthquake to swallow a town. Eh well! Tell me how long it takes to prepare for the earthquake?" In this quote, Dickens uses the character Madame Defarge to foreshadow fate. Dickens symbolizes an "earthquake" swallowing "a town" as the French Revolution taking over their town. Dickens talks about how it won't be much longer till the French Revolution, and that it will 'swallow the town' in no time!
Sacrafice " 'Are you dying for him?'(...)" Near the end of the book we figure out that Carton is sacrificing his life for Charles Darnay, and the Manettes. He is basically "dying for him." Dickens had his character Carton promised Lucie that he would do anything to keep her safe and happy, and Carton ended up paying the ultimate price for her in a heroic way.
"(...) I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. (...)" In this quote Dickens wanted the readers to know Cartons undying love for Lucie. Whether he said it as a friend, or lover Carton says he would "embrace any sacrifice for you" to Lucie Manette. Dickens wants us readers to understand how much he cares for Lucie and the Manettes, and how Carton realizes that his life is nothing without them and their love.
Resurrection " You know that you are recalled to life?" In this quote, Dickens talks about Dr. Manette being "recalled to life" because he is set free from 18 years of prison. He is being "recalled to life" because after 18 years of horrible treatment in prison he gets to live his real life again. Not be stuck in a prison cell.
"I am the resurrection and the life (...)"
Dickens uses Carton to symbolize resurrection in numerous parts of the book. "I am the resurrection," Carton calls himself. Dickens uses this specific character to symbolize that because of how Carton got Charles Darnay out of prison, and saved him from death therefore he symbolically resurrected him, by saving his life.
Imagery "(...) others, directed by lookers-on up at high windows, darted here and there, to cute off little streams of wine that started away on new directions (...)" In this quote, Dickens uses imagery to describe the wine spill. People "darted here and there" to try to sip up any wine, before it dried up. Dickens wanted us to see how big this is to the people, because then everyone was so poor they couldn't afford wine, so the wine spill turned into a huge party. Everyone trying to get as much as they could and enjoy it.
"(...) the darkness of it was heavy- cold, dirt, sickness, ignorance, and want (...)" Dickens uses the needs and wants for people to get an image in their head about what life was really like before the French revolution. "Cold, dirt, sickness, and want," where always held over the heads of the people in Saint Antione. Dickens wanted us to not only get an image of life then, but he wanted us to feel what it was like then. Dickens wanted us to feel their hunger, their sickness.. He wanted us to imagine it, and put ourselves in their shoes!
Tone "Hunger was shred into atomies in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potatoes, fried with some reluctant drops of oil." In this passage, Dickens uses tone to show the hunger and shortage of food. "Fried with some reluctant drops of oil," says Dickens, describing the way the chips where cooked. The people where so short on food, they were reluctant to use it. Afraid it would go to waste. "Hunger was the inscription on the baker's shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread." Once again, Dickens uses tone to show hunger in the people of Saint Antione. Dickens used descriptive words to show how poor this town is, and to make sure the reader would understand how desperate they were for change. The bakers shelves are described as "scanty" and having a "stock of bad bread."
Diction "Bust me, if she ain't at it agin!" In this quote, Dickens uses Diction to show the difference in the characters in this book. Some people are higher class, and others may not be because of the way they speak. By using words "ain't" and "agin" Dickens is able to show us diction through his writing, to help us get an image in our heads of the characters such as how they may dress or speak. "Pick up that, philopsopher and vendor of wine, (...) 'and spend it as you will. The horses there; are they right?" In this passage, Dickens uses Diction to show the Marquis horrible personality. After the Marquis ran over Defarge's child and killed him, the marquis threw him a gold coin and said "spend it as you will" and asked if the horses are "right." Through Diction, Dickens shows us his careless and selfish heart that speaks through his words.