Discussion questions – A Tale of Two Cities: Questions 4-6
4. Why was Charles Darnay able to see the unfairness of the class structure that privileged him and to extricate himself from it? Are there other characters as capable of seeing beyond their own circumstances?
5. Dickens seems to have great sympathy for the poor, the sick, the powerless, but not all such characters are portrayed sympathetically. What does that say about his sympathies? Where does he intend our—the readers’—sympathies to lie?
6. The news that Doctor Manette, while imprisoned, denounced all the descendents of the Evrémondes comes as a shock. Given that he saw young Charles and spoke with his beleaguered, compassionate mother—that he, in effect, had reason to have compassion toward them despite the evils of the family—why would he have made such a declaration? What can we make of his repeated claim in the letter read aloud during Darnay’s retrial that he was in his right mind? How does he really feel about Darnay and his marriage to Lucie?