A Tale of Two Cities

Light vs. Dark Throughout A Tale of Two Cities

The chaotic and churning society of the eighteenth century is well-depicted in Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities. As France goes through its intense revolution, England remains in its peaceful state. Dickens compares the two countries and their societies throughout the novel. Light and dark imagery is often used to contrast the two societies about which the novel is written, as well as to contrast characters as they change with the progressing story, for example Dr. Manette and Sydney Carton. This imagery helps to develop these characters and shows the theme of duality and contrast in other areas throughout the novel.

From the very beginning, light and dark are contrasted in A Tale of Two Cities. In the opening sentence, it says "... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness ...." (5) In the opening quote, all of the contrasting aspects of England and France are discussed. In order to stress the contrast, the light versus dark motif is included. Another reason that the light versus dark motif appears in the beginning of the novel is that this sets up the use of this motif throughout the book and helps the image unify the novel by its inclusion in the beginning, middle, and end.

The light versus dark...

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