The first meeting of the new Harbury Village Library Classic Book Group takes place at 7.30 on Tuesday 22nd October in the library. Drinks and nibbles will be available.
In addition to discussing the book we’ll be deciding when the next meeting will be, and what we will read next. Since not everyone who has expressed an interest in the group will be able to attend, please feel free to add your comments about A Tale of Two Cities, or about what you think we should read next, in the comments below.
There is a lot of information about this book on the interenet and we have chosen a few questions which were used by the Oprah Winfrey Book Group when they discussed A Tale of Two Cities.
1. A Tale of Two Cities opens with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” one of the best-known passages in English literature. What does Dickens mean by setting the stage with such polarities? For whom was it the best and the worst of times? Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in the late 1850s. Why does this passage continue to be quoted today? In what ways does our own present period merit such an assessment?
2. Dickens seems to have great sympathy for the poor, the sick and the powerless, but not all such characters are portrayed sympathetically. What does that say about his sympathies? Where does he intend our sympathies as readers to lie?
3. Late in the novel, Carton is described as showing both pity and pride (page 332). Until this point in the novel, “pride” is a word we have not seen associated with Carton, who is full of mostly suppressed regret and anguish over his wasted life. What is Carton proud of, and do others see it? Do you think Dickens intends to convey that others see his pride?