A Tale of Two Cities

Yes, it's terrible, but I really think Dickens himself, with his sharp sense of humor would appreciate this t-shirt.

Finished February 25, 2010

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . ."

I wonder if when Charles Dickens penned those immortal words he knew what an impact his novel would have on millions throughout the years… I’ll never understand why people dislike this splendid novel. It baffles me. I suppose maybe it’s that old “I-have-to-read-this-for-school-therefore-it-must-suck” syndrome… The first time I read this was in junior high, I’ve read it a couple of times since then (always of my own will) I think this may have been one of the novels that secured my passion for history (not that this is an historical document by any means) simply that Dickens showed that the things we read about in history text books were far more than a present day historian’s analysis… Maybe things didn’t happen this way with the diabolical Defarges, poor Dr. Manette, and the heroic Sydney Carton, but it still takes you out of that little box that boring textbooks tend to put you in. It personifies events like the French Revolution and gives one room to imagine the enormous impact it had on the world.

If you read it before and disliked it, try it again, maybe you’ll see the soul of this story, unlike when it was assigned for literature in high school. Although thoroughly Dickensian in its main content, it certainly doesn’t end like most of his stories do, but it’s a thoroughly beautiful novel.

*See if you can get through the scene when Sydney whispers “A life you love…” without crying, I never have.*

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