The opening statement of the story "it was the best of times it was the worst of times" sets the tone of the story. Express your views.The openeing statement sets the story in which a given...

The opening statement of the story "it was the best of times it was the worst of times" sets the tone of the story. Express your views.

The openeing statement sets the story in which a given circumstance is perceived as good or bad depending upon the point of view. Express your views.

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As this is the very beginning of the story - your point of view is going to highly depend on how much you've read.  I'm going to guess that this question isn't coming before you should have read the book.  Generally - this sets up a contrast that is present throughout this story of the "have's" vs. the "have nots" in France and England in 1775.

If you must answer in context of the story - you will want to take a side - does the book truly represent the best of times or the worst?

Despite the tragedies that took place historically during the time the book is set (and the tragedies that lie within the plot itself), it is often argued that the opportunities for love and sacrifice were what outweighed the negative circumstances - perhaps you wish to start there.  All of the characters are brought together in this book by a series of circumstances that could be looked at as tragic - however - in the end - many feel that resolution is come to and the outcome is ultimately positive.  I think your teacher wants to know - on those lines - what you think.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that much of this is going to be dependent on how the individual reader perceives the action in the story and the story, in general.  I would say that I see the opening lines as applying to the French Revolution, in general.  When I first read the work, I had been studying European History and had a good feel of the French Revolution.  I was able to fully grasp how the opening line could apply to both the spirit of freedom and liberty that was present at the start of the Revolution and the period of mob rule and horrific violence as well as the violation of public trust towards the middle or later stages of it.  I thought that it spoke well to it.  Over time, I have taken a more philosophical approach to the line, in that it helps to describe the synergistic approach to creation and destruction, the fragmentation and totality of human consciousness.

praneet9g | Student

Dickens tries to show the state of the poor against the state of the rich. For the poor, the days were bad, while for the rich the days were good. It is all based on rich and poor.

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