A Tale of Two Cities

In the Absence of Hate

Geoffrey Chaucer once wrote, "Trouthe is the hyeste thing that a man may kepe" (The Canterbury Tales ëThe Knight's Tale'). Since before the ancient Greeks, mankind has striven to discern and define truth, a noble if somewhat arduous task. Even modern society, despite losing so many of the old, "prudish" morals of preceding generations, still holds truth as one of the greatest virtues and to find truth in life, one of the greatest accomplishments. Authors such as Charles Dickens reflect this great desire to seek and find truth, using many varying mediums to express their opinions or discoveries. From the opening lines of the book, Dickens uses the method of thematic opposition to illustrate pure truth and evil lies. In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens consistently opposes characters, settings, and even his theme of revolution, presenting juxtaposed viewpoints and actions that demonstrate deeper truths about life.

Two characters Dickens sets in opposition are Madame Defarge and Lucie Manette. Although Lucie Manette grew up an orphan after her mother died and her father lay languishing anonymously in a prison cell of the Bastille, although she suffered irreparable harm, Lucie Manette always finds within...

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