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questions TTC book 2 chap 22-24 | Montreal Dickens Fellowship

Montreal Dickens Fellowship
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Montreal Dickens Fellowship Study Questions: “A Tale of Two Cities"
January 9, 2024
Book II, Chapters 22-24, Book III Chapters 1-7

  1. Dickens was particularly fearful of violence in women because he felt they were the moral center of society. Discuss.
  2. Dickens used nature to describe the inevitability of the revolution. The four men who set Oire to the Evremonde chateau are described as East, West. North and South as if they were winds blowing from all directions. Discuss.
  3. Do you think Darnay is naıv̈ e or noble in travelling to France where he is sure to be killed or “buried alive” in prison. He believes in justice and duty but what of his duty toLucie and his child? Is he arrogant to think he is powerful enough to change Gabelle’s fate? Was there no other way to try to help him?\
  4. Comment on the circular structure of the novel. Darnay is imprisoned secretly and unjustly just as Dr. Manette was. Is this “an eye for an eye”? His only hope is to be “recalled to life”.
  5. Discuss Dr. Manette’s role as a savior who with his white hair and pale complexion, parts the sea of red hot Olaming violence, seemingly untouchable by the Olaming gore and death all around him. He has already been resurrected.
  6. Mme. Defarge appears at her coldest when meeting Lucie and her child. They are opposites. Does Mme. Defarge underestimate Lucie’s power?
  7. Dickens uses the height of the reign of terror, when political prisoners were being murdered, as a backdrop for this novel.Discuss how the setting brings out his characters’ strongest virtues(or vices) of loyalty, bravery, self-sacriOice, murderous vengeance, etc....
  8. During the French Revolution the Catholic Church was denounced and was replaced by a forced worship of the state. Dickens, a devout Christian was fearful of this worship of old testament values ( an eye for an eye) replacing the worship of Christian ideals of loving ones neighbor( the Golden Rule). Comment.
  9. Lucie is depicted as being strong and loyal in her tolerance of the woodcutter and the street dancers who represent evil and the loss of control. Do you like Lucie? Why? Why not?
  10. When Darnay is proclaimed innocent, do you believe that that is the end of it? Mme. Defarge has knitted him into his register. She always says, “Wait, be patient, the time iscoming”. Is Dickens effective in keeping us in suspense?
  11. Comment on Mme. Defarge’s cruelty in playing with Darnay like a cat with a mouse. She lets him be released to his loving family only to be snatched away again.