View Full Version : Charles Dickens Masterpiece

05-07-2008, 08:47 PM
Since he tends to write long novels and I don't like to stick with one author that long, I was wondering if anyone could compare and contrast the main message that Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities have.

Which one did you like more?

I've narrowed it down to these two (among so many of his great works). Which one has the most "social significance"?

Thank you for your replies.

05-07-2008, 10:36 PM
Great Expectations seems to have higher critical acclaim, if that is worth anything.

05-08-2008, 12:21 AM
yes, but one is pure fiction, and the other is historical fiction. I was wondering if there is a certain "serious tone" that A Tale of Two Cities has over Great Expectations.

It would be great if I could get some insight by someone who has read both.

But it would also help a lot if someone who has read one of these would really give it their strong reccomondation

Maybe I'm asking too much. I just have recently been in "the zone" with my book selection.
1)The Republic
2)The Iliad
3)Count of Monte Cristo
4)Les Miserables -- one I'm still on. This book has so many GREAT themes to it. It is so melodramatic and so prosaically artistic that I wouldn't mind reading the same chapter twice. It has short chapters and flows very nicely.

05-08-2008, 06:45 PM
pierre ive read both of those dickens' books and have liked them both, but its been so many years since ive read great expectations, any "comparing" and "contrasting" would be pure speculation. on another hand, a tale of two cities is one of my favorite stories and i do feel safe in saying that in terms of social significance, that book is more far-reaching.

i wouldnt go so far to say that a tale of two cities is historical fiction. which is a moniker i save (or understand) for works where the author relies relatively heavily on actual events/dates, and more or less has characters based on real people---with the author using creativity to fill in lots the missing spaces. boy, if anyone reads this and knows better---feel free to correct me.

ive read the first three of the other four books you mention (that is, if by "the republic" you are meaning plato?) the first is not a novel and the second reads differently from the third. the iliad is a shorter investment; monte cristo is a larger one. if you enjoy mythology and lots of action, then you might like the iliad better. if youre more into plot and character development, you might like monte cristo better.

Charles Darnay
05-08-2008, 08:20 PM
In terms of "social significance" I would have to go with Great Expectations. If you wish to be "in the know" when it comes to Dickens by reading one of his novels (as in the know as you could be from reading one novel) I would say that you will get more out of Great Expectations.

Both are absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend both - seeing as how, although you say Dickens writes long novels (which he has several of) these are two examples of his shorter works.

05-08-2008, 09:00 PM
LOL- I think Dickens' masterpiece is Bleak House :)

05-08-2008, 09:09 PM
Do you think you could write a little more about what you mean when you write "social significance"?

I find ToTC to be the least Dickensesque Dicken's novel, and as such difficult to compare with his other writings. Have you read David Copperfield? I always felt that GE was kind of the same story but with a more cynical world view, a less idealistic take on life.

Devil Child
05-09-2008, 08:23 PM
I would go with "A Tale of Two Cities" even though I have already red both. This novel seems to be more filled with action than the social graces of "Great Expectations"
Oh! And from your list I would read "The Count of Monte Cristo", is my favorite along with Dumas' "The Man in an Iron Mask"