What are some quotes demonstrating the use of doubles from A Tale of Two Cities?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, the theme of doubles or twins appears throughout the book. In fact, the very title itself hints at the theme, with Dickens telling his readers that he presents the story of two cities. He establishes the parallelism between the two cities at the very beginning of the book:

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness...

These very lines are twins of a sort. It was the best of times and, simultaneously, it was the worst of times. Examining the theme more closely, we know that Dickens is writing about two cities at the time of the French Revolution, Paris and London. In this context, the opening lines make more sense. It was the best of times in London perhaps, but it was the worst of times in Paris, as Madame Guillotine was kept quite busy.

Further on, Dickens writes, “we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” Again, if you lived in London and came from a certain...

(The entire section contains 576 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team