In The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens both London and Paris appear to be poor
cities. The main theme is Recalled to Life which is the resurrection or release of
Alexandre Manette from the kingdom of death and his isolation of being in prison for
nearly eighteen years.
Paris appears to be more "under the heel" than London. In Paris the wealthy were
separated from the poor and did not care about them at all. A wine cask was broken and
the poor people stopped in the street to have a brief celebration while they were drinking
up the wine. Gaspard takes some of the wine and writes on the side of the building
"blood" which is foreshadowing the French Revolution. It was said that terror...blood, all
of this is coming. Madame Defarge said that, "cold, hunger, dirt, want, and sickness are
the noble things that rule. Another event is when Marquis Evremonde is in town, his
carriage runs into a little boy and the boy is thrown under the wheel and killed instantly.
Evremonde gives the father a quarter for his troubles and wants to continue. Someone
took and threw the quarter back and Evremonde leans out the window and says that he
would ride over anyone of them. This shows that he is of nobility and does not care at all
for the poor people of Paris. Gaspard is angry and he stows away under Evremonde's
carriage. While returning home, the gardener bowed to his master but he did not bother
to tell him that there was a stowaway because he was for the Jacques, who are waiting for
the French Revolution. The poor in Paris were not looked after and all this was adding to
the Revolution.
The poor in London were treated better than those in Paris. The wealthy mingled
among the poor, which shows there were no hard feelings. The people of England were
innocent until proven guilty which meant that they had more of a chance. The English
government had the Magna Carter that was a step towards constitutional government. In
London the people were still all over and dirty but they were not mistreated as badly. The
people's attitudes are brighter, they have all in all a better daily life.
Lucie Manette has believed all these years that her father has been dead, but she
found out that he has been, "buried alive" and is now recalled to life. Lucie asks Mr.
Lorry why everything must be secretive and he tells her that is the way everything is done.
She has to comfort, love, and restore her father back to the way he was. After being
locked up for so many years, one tends to go crazy. Alexandre has taken up making shoes
to keep him busy. When Lucie comes into her father's view he thinks it is his wife but she
is to young to be his wife. When asked what his name is he replies, "105 north tower."
That is the only way he knows himself, he has no memory of the past but Lucie helps him
to remember. Five years later, Charles Darney is tried for treason. The English believed
that he has been giving the French information but he is really of nobility over there and is
trying to fulfill his dying mother's wishes. He knew that the Evremonde name was greatly
hated by all the people in France. Evremonde told Charles that things are worse and
repression is the only lasting philosophy. That night Gaspard climbed up to Evremonde's
window and takes a knife and stabs him, saying, "this is for the Jacques."