Reading a great work of fiction is a rare privilege, and it is getting rarer all the time. It is beginning a conversation with a great mind that has contemplated the human condition in a creative and entertaining way–an artistic way. I get a kick out of discussing this material with my students, probably even more of a kick than they will EVER get out of it.
Here is today’s list of theses, and I suspect we can all think of ways to help each other in our areas of endeavor. I can’t wait to read these papers:
In A Tale of Two Cities Dickens uses the obvious and subtle differences between rich and poor to reveal the corruption and violence created by an unjust system.
In A Tale of Two Cities Dickens uses a set of obvious and hidden mirrored characters and places to illuminate why two similar cultures have divergent political destinies.
In A Tale of Two Cities Dickens chooses to emphasize both historical events and myths of the period to provide a greater verisimilitude than scholarly history can.
Throughout A Tale of Two Cities, three weddings provide a lens through which Dickens reveals the corrupting and edifying character of love.
In A Tale of Two Cities three female characters embody Dickens’ sense of the feminine mystique.
In A Tale of Two Cities Dickens presents the levels of cruelty humans can and will indulge when given the opportunity and the motivation to be cruel.
This is what I call fun. It works because it is difficult AND it is a pleasure.