A Tale of Two Cities
From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ A Tale of Two Cities Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) | Written by: Charles Dickens | Published by: Chapman & Hall
A Tale of Two Cities
Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
What it do, yo? This week we seein’ double wit a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
Da year is 1775 and Lucie Mannette been thinkin her pop Doc Mannette been dead fo’ a long-ass time. But one day, word come dat he actually been on lockdown in Paris fo’ da past 18 DAMN YEARS. So Lucie and a bruh name Jarvis Lorry cruise ova’ to Paris where they meet Doc Alexandre’s back-when assistant Defarge. Dis cat been lookin out fo’ da good doc, whose mind has turned in to mush afta’ all dem years in da can.
But afta’ some quality time wit Lucie, Manette snaps outta it and start goin’ back to his old self.
5 years later, Doc Mannette and Lucy up in court fo’ da trial of Charles Darnay, who been accused of snitchin on tha British crown. Da prosecution’s case against Chucky falls to shit when one of da witnesses say Charlie-boy don’t look no different than Sydney Carton- who hookin’ up da defense with his mad street smarts. Carton and Darnay look so much alike they could have the same mama!
Now dat he scott free, Darnay start hollerin at Lucie; but turn out playa gotta get in line. So he gonna have to grind for some of Lucy’s juicy.
Back in P-town, Darnay’s hood rich uncle runs ova’ a lil kid with his carriage. But instead of gettin tore up bout it, he just pissed dat po folk got blood on his 20 inch blades. Later, some peasant gets REAL tired of dat rich whiteboy and straight ghosts his ass while he sleepin. Darnay inherit all dat swoel family cash, but he don’t want nuthin to do wit dat blood money.
Closeup of Darnay in carriage window. Zooms out to show him in a carriage that is PIMPED out.
Instead, he throw up the deuce to ol Paree and set up shop in London where he gonna marry Lucie. Befo’ he do, tho, Carton tell Lucie she da only thing dat give his sorry- ass life meaning- and if he can eva’ hook a sistah up, he gonna do it. Blood fo’ blood, life fo’ life.
Shit goes HAM up in da streets of Paris when da Revolution breaks out and rich people gettin’ shanked left and right. One of Darnay’s boys gets thrown in da clink; and since he keep it gangsta, he head to Paris to bust a bruta out. But all dem crunk po folk love nuthin mo’ than fuckin wit rich kids, so it ain’t long before Darnay’s dumbass gets locked up too. Nice plan, yo. So now Lucie and Manette gotta head there to bail HIS ass out.
After a year and three months of rottin away in da slammer, the trial goes down and doc Manette come out swingin da biggest legit street cred dick you eva’ seen: He did the hardest time there is up in da bastille- so dem revolutionaries get all up on his junk, and decide to let Darnay go. But then dat same damn night he arrested AGAIN, this time cuz Defarge and his crazy bitch biddy hatin on him hard core.
Up at tha’ NEW trial, dem bustas whip out an old letter written by doc Mannete himself, where he callin out Darnay’s family fo all da crooked shit they did, sayin their deeds were so damn whack it dat even his descendants should get whats coming to em. One unanimous vote later, Darnay get sentenced to death. damn.
Illustration: he knocks him out with chemicals. can show him getting chloroformed.
Jus’ when errything seems fucked, Carton swangs in to town, busts in to da big house, and knocks Darnay OUT. Then he trades places wit em since they look da same. Darnay gets tossed in to a carriage and heads back to London wit his woman. As fo’ Carton? Fool gets his head chopped off. But at least by saving Darnay, he finally did somethin’ legit with his life. Das some righteous shit right thurr.
Now you might be thinkin’ dat this book’s main rap bout two separate cities- London and Paris. Sure, Dickens preachin loud and clear bout how separate and alone people and places be-
Sparky reads quote: “every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.” (15)
But the book actually hintin at da opposite- that errything is mo connected than it look at first. Both London AND Paris got their fair share of folks in love, turf wars between the rich and po, and crews buckin’ social inequality.
Truth is, Paris and London are mo’ “double” than different. And if you keepin it triple OG, you know Chuckie D slangin doubles all UP in this text: we got not only Paris and London, but the City of God and the City of Men, two Mannettes, Darnay’s double-dose of trials, Darnay and Carton’s fresh selves lookin’ just like eachotha… hell, even Charles Darnay’s name looks a whole lot like Charles Dickens. There ain’t no betta example of dat doublin, though, than how the novel open up:
Sparky reads quote: “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… (7)
Fo’ Chuck-Deezy, sometimes two jus’ don’t cut it. That fool goes WAY beyond doubles when it come to tha dankest theme up in here: resurrection. Da idea behind da phrase “Recalled to life” poppin up when talkin bout Doc Mannette, Darnay’s ass gettin saved from losin’ his head, and most importantly, Carton bein metaphorically brought back from the dead.
See, even though Carton get his shit wrecked in the end, he finally do something good fo’ someone other than himself. It’s like he brought his dead-as-shit soul back to life by doin something wit legit meaning. That’s why we seein him always droppin lines from the biblical story of Lazarus: “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.” (323)
And if you wanna resurrect yo dead- ass wardrobe, get yo-self some Thug
Notes threadz. Well read fo life! Peace.