Monday, June 04, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

I just finished reading A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens.  I have to say I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.  I have a new appreciation for Dicken's writing, which combines humour and wonderful descriptions with a good story and a thoughtful portrayal of human life.

A Tale of Two Cities presents a chiaroscuro of human character; loving and gracious characters shine brightly against a deeply dark background.  On it's own, that backdrop would be a disturbing, even frightening, picture of humanity.  The vengeful, blood-lusting crowds of Paris in the heyday of the guillotine are sobering in the caricature that Dickens presents.

And yet there is light.  We read of the strength of love, willing to sacrifice all.  Of the redemptive power of Christ's sacrifice which transforms even the most repulsive person into a hero.  Of the hope of resurrection.

Like the book of Esther, God is hardly mentioned, if at all.  One might even be tempted to believe he has abandoned France to its suffering.  Yet he is there.  And as the story builds to its climax, we read the oft-repeated refrain:
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Have you read this book, or other books by Dickens?  What did you think?

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read this book, but I have read "Great Expectations" and "The Pickwick Papers".

    Great Expectations I read for book assignment in high school English, and it's been awhile, so I can't remember what it was like, but I know I enjoyed at least certain parts of it.

    The Pickwick Papers was a long book, but quite interesting, as I am a writer, and it was also referred to in the movie "Little Women." That was what inspired me to read it.