These are a set of 10 "higher level thinking" questions from a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. They are all from book 2 and have answers.

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David PevznerJanuary 31, 2004

English20 Questions

1) What is the eighteenth century view of the death penalty in England?

A: The death penalty is clearly favored by the majority in England. People gather as an event to see others be executed and guillotined. Even the courtrooms smell wretched from all the death that occurs. "But indeed, at that time, putting to death was a recipe much in vogue with all trades and professions..."

2) How does his description of Tellson's Bank suggest Dickens' characteristic of over-writing?

A: Dickens clearly over describes Tellson's bank by using multiple words that all imply the same idea (He was paid for every word he wrote.) He calls it "...very smell, very dark, very ugly, very incommodious." He then goes on to say it was "proud of its darkness" and that it "wanted no light." All of these statements imply the same atmosphere but Dickens rather then just leaving it at dark and ugly describes the scene using multiple words.

3) How do Jerry's boots constitute a mystery?

A: They constitute a mystery because in the morning he throws a very muddy boot. After coming home from his "odd-job" at the bank he comes home with clean boots. Then the next morning those same boots are covered with clay.

4) How is Dickens critical of both the Old Bailey and Bedlam?

A: Dickens calls the Old Bailey a "kind of deadly inn-yard." From the Old Bailey travelers would set out to go into a "new violent world," and this is what made it a famous place. Also at the Old Bailey there was a whipping post and an old pillory all used for punishment. People paid to see the "play" at the Old Bailey just like they did at Bedlam. The entertainment at the Bedlam...