Interesting Topic Ideas For An Essay On A Tale Of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities, a novel by Charles Dickens, is a favorite subject for essays. Here is a list of interesting essay topics for the novel:
- Good and Evil
- The Concept of Duality
- Coming back from the Dead
- Parallels between the individual and the whole
In the novel, Dickens illustrates his sympathies with some of the aims of the French Revolution. He shows us the shortcomings of the aristocracy. He also illustrates the excesses of the violent struggle by the revolutionaries, for example, Darnay’s death sentence.
There is noted use of metaphors by Dickens in the novel. To illustrate good and evil, he uses light and dark as metaphors. His characters are followed by dark shadows. When a character is arrested, it happens at night.
The story is built around a pair of cities. London is stable but it is also corrupt and has divisions along the lines of class. Paris has nothing but ideals and the Revolution with all its grit and violence. The characters come in pairs too. For instance Lucie represents good while Madame Lafarge represents evil.
A major theme in the story is the element of self-sacrifice. Various characters show degrees of sacrifice for the betterment of others. Carton goes to the gallows in place of Darnay to ensure happiness for Darnay’s wife, Lucie, who he loves. Lucie benefits from the selflessness of Miss Pross.
The element of revitalization of something dead, both people and societies is frequently touched upon. For example, French society, ruled by ruthless aristocrats and dead because of it, now resurrected in the hands of the Revolution; or Carton’s spiritual resurrection through self-sacrifice.
Dickens drives the plot of the novel by making use of coincidence on multiple occasions. Crowded places are the scene of discovery of long-lost brothers and important letters are found by chance. Do such coincidences detract from the general quality of the novel or do they add to it?
Some critics criticize Dickens’ characters as stereotypes and argue that they are exaggerated to such an extent that they fail to be meaningful. This charge is leveled at the characters in A Tale of Two Cities too. Discuss whether this issue strengthens or weakens the plot and themes of the novel.
Dickens focuses on both the French Revolution and the trails and tribulations of the individual characters in his story. He draws parallels between the successes and failures of his characters and the historical occurrences taking place in wider society due to the Revolution.