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A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens
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What are some important quotes from A Tale of Two Cities?

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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.

The last words of Sydney Carton before he loses his head on the guillotine, is arguably the most famous...

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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.

The last words of Sydney Carton before he loses his head on the guillotine, is arguably the most famous quotation in the whole of the book. Up to this time, Sydney's led a life of dissolution and drunkenness. World-weary and cynical he's drifted through life without much purpose and direction. But now, by sacrificing himself for a friend, his whole life has been redeemed. And at long last Sydney can find the peace in the next world that has so cruelly eluded him in this one.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

The famous opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities. Right from the outset, Dickens is establishing the myriad contradictions and contrasts that exist throughout the book. In the early days of the Revolution, for example, there was great hope and optimism that, having thrown off the yoke of oppression, the French people could look forward to a bright, shining future based on the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. However, what was initially a "season of light," soon turned into a "season of darkness" in which chaos, bloodshed, and tyranny became the order of the day.

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