A Tale of Two Cities


A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, a book that is as much about the French revolution as it is about internal struggle. If you're like me Dickens is someone you've heard of, but you've never read his books. Inspiration to pick up this one up came from listening to too much J. Cole wanting to branch out from children's books (Harry Potter), and to test my reading abilities. This book is hard.

On almost every page there were words I wasn't familiar with, which was a humbling experience. I like learning new words. Having a strong vocabulary allows for accurate and concise description of the world around us. My reasoning for why learning new words is good is rooted in wanting to be able to explain things in a better way. However, it's entirely possible to learn so many new words that normal people have no idea what you're talking about whenever you explain something. So why bother? Perhaps the good of a large vocabulary comes from benefit to the self and not to the other. By this I mean that being able to explain things to one's self in an accurate and concise manner is an incredibly useful ability in it's own right.

Recent events in Paris have drawn my thoughts back to Dickens' imagery of the revolution. I found it fairly easy to glaze over the acts of burning the forts and prisons while I was reading the book; now I have a deeper awareness for the impact these events have on people. One scary thing about reading anything that isn't about the present is that what you read might become reality one day. While dsytopian novels invoke this feeling in the strongest sense, unexpected relevancy can be even more jarring. I must admit, it was hard to take in the magnitude of the revolution while reading. In the future I aim to remind myself to take on the characters portrayed and try to experience their actions rather than let them glide across the pages without much consideration past the obvious heinousness.

Overall, this one was a challenge to get through in terms of comprehension but I still enjoyed the characters and storytelling. I'll definitely be coming back to Dickens and hopefully next time I'll have the vocabulary to back myself up.