By Nina TorskaSat. 20 Apr. 20243min Read

Our Favourite A Tale of Two Cities Quotes

In this blog, we explore key quotes from "A Tale of Two Cities," highlighting Dickens's insights on love, sacrifice, and revolution.
Our Favourite A Tale of Two Cities Quotes

In Charles Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities," I am repeatedly captivated by the gripping narrative of revolution and resilience, woven through the dual cities of Paris and London.

This seminal work illuminates the stark contrasts and enduring spirits of its time, offering a profound exploration of love, sacrifice, and the human capacity for both nobility and brutality.

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."  – Sydney Carton

In one of literature's most poignant concluding lines, Sydney Carton reflects on his final act of self-sacrifice. This quote has always moved me deeply, encapsulating the theme of redemption and the impact of personal sacrifice for the greater good.

"I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me." – Sydney Carton

Here, Carton expresses his feelings of alienation and despair, character traits that define much of his early presence in the novel. It’s a stark reminder of his internal struggle and the loneliness that accompanies those who feel out of step with the world around them.

"A life you love."  –  Lucie Manette

When Lucie speaks these simple yet profound words, she encapsulates the novel’s recurring theme of the power of love over adversity. Lucie's character, filled with compassion and grace, often highlights the best of human virtues amidst the surrounding darkness.

"Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop, but don't tell me."  – Madame Defarge

Madame Defarge's fierce declaration is a testament to her indomitable will and highlights her role as a relentless agent of the revolution’s vengeance. This quote always strikes me as a powerful expression of her character's intense resolve and formidable presence.

"I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by and by into our lives."  – Mr. Lorry

Mr. Lorry’s reflection on the echoes in the bank’s halls is symbolic of the novel’s intricate plotting, where the past and future are deeply intertwined. It’s a haunting reminder of how our past actions and decisions resonate into our futures.

"What a curious thing letters are." –  Dr. Manette

This seemingly simple observation by Dr. Manette reveals his thoughtful nature and his awareness of the weight of words and communications, a key motif throughout the novel, especially considering his own history with written words in his hidden letter.

"I am not old, but my young way was never the way to age."   –  Miss Pross

Miss Pross, with her spirited denial of aging, brings a lighter, yet poignant perspective on life and vitality in a novel filled with heavy themes. Her fierce loyalty and protective nature provide a counterbalance to the more grave elements of the story.

"If you hear in my voice—I don't know that it is so, but I hope it is—if you hear in my voice any resemblance to a voice that once was sweet music in your ears, weep for it, weep for it!" –  Dr. Manette

This heart-wrenching plea by Dr. Manette, as he wrestles with his past traumas, highlights the deep scars left by his imprisonment. It’s a moment that vividly captures the personal toll of the political upheavals portrayed in the novel.

"We have all got on in life since then, Mr. Darnay." – Charles Darnay

Charles Darnay’s remark about progress and the passage of time reflects the transformative journeys of the novel’s characters, set against the backdrop of historical change. His own story is one of struggle, sacrifice, and eventual peace.

"There is prodigious strength," said he, "in sorrow and despair."   –  A Revolutionary

This observation by a revolutionary character captures the driving force behind the French Revolution as depicted in the novel. It highlights the intense emotions that fueled the historical events, reflecting the tumult and the transformative power of collective human emotions.

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