Tale Of Two Cities: 10 Essay Topics That Will Catch Your Reader’s Attention


A Tale of Two Cities is a classic novel written by the timeless Charles Dickens. As one of the most famous pieces of literature in history, it’s likely that you’ll encounter this in one of your English classes. This book is filled with several themes itching to be discussed. When choosing a topic for your essay, be sure that it is relevant enough throughout the novel for it to be strongly supported. If you need some inspiration, here are 10 topics that will pique any reader’s interest:

  1. Revolution: Dickens parallels and expresses many similarities to the French Revolution. Discuss what his general attitude is towards it and what parts of the book support this statement.
  2. Light & Dark: What do you think the purpose of so many light and dark references is? How do light and darkness affect various characters?
  3. Juxtaposition: There is a lot of duality and contrasts that exist within the novel. Locate several examples of juxtaposed themes (i.e.: the two cities, good & evil characters) and reference them.
  4. Religion: Religion weighs in a lot on various characters’ personalities. Explore how these characters express and channel their beliefs differently.
  5. Rebirth: Resurrection is a predominant theme throughout the novel. Why was resurrection possible at sometimes, but impossible at others? What do you think influenced the revival of said characters?
  6. Class: Dickens emphasizes a huge separation between social classes with this novel, and almost writes it as a huge criticism. In France, he looks closely at the lower class; how does Dickens parallel the classes in France and Britain?
  7. Humor: Is there any humor present throughout the novel? Dickens is often humorous to an extent in most of his works, what do you think inspired the tone throughout this novel?
  8. Gender: Women seem to be depicted in a certain manner throughout the novel. What purpose do the gender roles have in the plot?
  9. Foreshadowing: Does Dickens employ this tactic throughout the story? How does his use of foreshadowing in the novel affect the suspense felt by the reader? How does he manage to execute this foreshadowing?
  10. Evil: Just as Dickens focuses on light and darkness in the book, he also focuses on the nature of good and evil. Based on the story’s dark points and villainous characters, what are the author’s ideas of evil?
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