Tale of Two Cities. A comparison of the pairs or doubles that appear constantly within the novel.

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Gilman � PAGE �1�

Claire Gilman

December 15, 2009

English 12 CP

An Abundance of Foils

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times […] we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going directly the other way" (Dickens 7). Charles Dickens "[influenced] the development of the serial novel" and created many classics (Pool 389). Only Shakespeare used the same writing techniques as Dickens (Engel). The novel "A Tale of Two Cities" is a grand example of character foils and doubling within one of Dickens' novels. The use of England, France, and the characters makes the novel better because they add to the intensity of the plot "between the two eternally paradoxical poles of life and death" (Charles Dickens 421).

As part of the doubles Dickens uses the countries England and France as opposites.

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France.

In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled forever (Dickens 7).

England is tranquil and prosperous while France is in turmoil. The major difference between the two is that the people are not happy with France's government. For the people of France, England has become a safe haven, somewhere that the people could be safe and out of harms way. While England is peaceful France has become a warzone with a government that is steadily eroding. Both countries could be viewed as an allusion to heaven and hell.

Characters throughout the novel are seen as foils. Darnay and Carton are the most obvious...