A Tale of Two Cities | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 42 pages of analysis & critique of A Tale of Two Cities.
This section contains 12,578 words
(approx. 42 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: “Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities: The Poetics of Impasse,” in American Imago, Vol. 36, No. 3, Fall, 1979, pp. 215-44.

In the following essay, Frank states that the hero of the novel is not Sydney Carton, but Charles Darnay. Using Georg Lukacs's The Historical Novel, Frank argues that Darnay is a “modernist hero.”

A Tale of Two Cities has, for too long, been Sydney Carton's novel. The sheer melodramatic force of his last, unspoken words continues to obscure the significance of Charles Darnay's moral and psychological dilemma. Of course, Darnay is all too often a prig, a bourgeois pilgrim en route, like David Copperfield, to a secular celestial city. But he is, however ambiguously, the novel's hero. It is Carton, not Darnay, who is the foil. In the popular imagination, their rôles are commonly reversed. For who can...

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This section contains 12,578 words
(approx. 42 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lawrence Frank
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Critical Essay by Lawrence Frank from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.