“A tales of two cities” is a complex novel that mixes hope with despair. The action takes place in 1775 during the French revolution. While the main characters go through numerous hardships, the author does not miss the chance to mock a corrupt legal system ran greedy noblemen.
The book starts with the story of a french doctor who was imprisoned without a trial and even without a clear reason. After spending almost two decades in prison the miserable doctor is finally released . However the long prison years have impacted deeply on the doctor’s spirit who seems unable to resume a normal existence. A British businessman manages to bring him back to England where he is reunited with his daughter, Lucie. It is quite common for Dickens to provide even the saddest story with a ray of hope. Lucie is the impersonation of everything that is good in the world. From her description it is obvious that she can bring relief even to the most miserable man and as fate has it eventually she manages to awake his father from his miserable existence.
The intrigue of “A tale of two cities” presents 2 young similar looking men. One of them is on trial for treason while the other one testifies in his favor. With a little help from the now functional Doctor Manette, Charles Darnay is declared innocent. Both him and his lookalike friend Sydney Carton fall in love with the kind and beautiful Lucie. However Carton is a pitiful character who doesn’t consider himself worthy of the young girls love. In the meantime Charles and Lucie fall in love and eventually get married. Their wedding day reveals Charles as the son of the French Marquis who imprisoned the doctor. Good doctor Manette realizes that Charles is different from his father and decides to accept him into his family.
As this is “A tale of two cities” one might be wondering what is happening in Paris during all this time. Well, the angry citizens decided to take fate into their own hands and started a revolution. Some unsettling incidents bring Charles back to France where he is sentenced to death in order to pay for his deceased father’s crimes. Dr Manette along with Lucie and Sydney come to France in order to help Charles. However the uneducated mobs cannot be dealt with and eventually Sidney sacrifices himself in order to save Charles. This sacrifice is mostly guided by his undying love for Lucie. He realizes that he will never get the place he wants in his heart. However he hopes that by sacrificing himself she will remember him dearly.