Final Impressions

Final Impressions

Darnay's Letters From Prison


Join a partner as directed, then do the following.

  • Begin by reviewing the letters Charles is writing—the letters he believes are his final words to his wife, to Manette, and to Lorry.
  • With your partner, make a bullet list of the things he tells to each—to Lucie, to Manette, and
    to Lorry.

Open Notebook

Darnay's Letters Discussion

Work Time

Rejoin the whole class and discuss the following.

  • Charles Dickens could have left out these letters entirely. What do you think the letters add to your understanding of Darnay?
  • Why does Darnay have to be drugged?
  • Decide together the extent to which you think Darnay is heroic. Support your opinions with evidence from the novel.

Madame Defarge Quick Write

Work Time

Begin your consideration of Madame Defarge by listening as your teacher reads aloud the passage at the start of Chapter 14. Then, answer the following questions in a Quick Write to investigate the character of Madame DeFarge.

  • What is her relationship with her husband now?
  • Who is the Vengeance?
  • Why do they begin to talk about children in these lines?
  • Where is Madame Defarge at the end of this scene?

Open Notebook

A Scene From the Novel

Work Time

With the same partner that you worked with earlier, turn to the confrontation between Miss Pross and Madame Defarge, starting with, “The basin fell to the ground …” and ending with, “blinded with smoke.”

Imagine that you and your partner will direct the scene for a film. Make sure that you understand the plot, then collaboratively decide and jot down your ideas for the following.

  • What sort of music would you play? Exciting? Comic? Scary?
  • How would you convey the misunderstanding between the two women? Would you use voice-overs? Subtitles? Speaking?
  • How much would you focus on the battle? Would it be violent and long? Quick?
  • What actresses might you choose to play these roles?

Open Notebook

Share with the class the way that you would handle the scene.

Justice for Madame Defarge?


Complete your conversation about Madame Defarge with the rest of the class.

  • In your opinion, did Dickens make the right decision by having Madame Defarge die?
  • Does she deserve to die? Why have her die by her own gun?
  • Considering what happened to her sister, is her anger so wrong? Is her desire for revenge a crime?

Book III, Chapter 15


  • Read Book III, Chapter 15 of A Tale of Two Cities and annotate for key ideas, personal reactions, questions, and vocabulary.
  • Consider these and other recent pages in your search for resources for the reflection.