Advanced English 9
22 May 2012
Dickens and Suspense
Charles Dickens’ masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities, is full of suspense, mystery, and drama. A Tale of Two Cities is about the French Revolution, and how people in France were scared and poor. People were often falsely accused of treason, murder, or theft. The nobility was very suspicious about the 3rd estate rebelling, so they accused many people of treason and enforced the laws with a very harsh punishment. Charles Dickens’ creates suspense by starting the story with a mysterious note, overcomplicating the trials of Charles Darnay, and leaving out details about the imprisonment of Manette.
The first way Charles Dickens creates mystery is at the beginning of the book. The book began with Jarvis Lorry riding in the Dover mail coach along with 2 other people. Suddenly a rider starts to come up behind the coach. After a short exchange of words the driver of the coach allows the rider to come up and do his business. After learning it is a messenger by the name of Jerry Cruncher, the driver lets the messenger approach. Cruncher says he has a message for Lorry. The message was not long and was very confusing. The message was, “Wait at Dover for Mam’selle.”(19). To which Lorry replied, “Recalled to life.”(19). This message was only the beginning of Charles Dickens plans to mislead and create suspense.
The second way Charles Dickens creates suspense is by overcomplicating the trials of Charles Darnay. Charles Darnay is accused of treason twice in A Tale of Two Cities; once against England, and another against the revolution in France. The first accusation resulting in Darnay being innocent and the truth is never revealed. The second and third trials resulted after the storming of the Bastille. Charles Darnay is accused of supporting the 1st and 2nd estates. He is related to Monseigneur, the Marquis of the area. This accusation is true, but that doesn’t stop the jury from deciding his innocence....