Charles Dickens and the Introduction in the Penguin Edition

N.B.: This quiz will be quite difficult if students are not permitted to use their texts, but will be quite fair if they are permitted only ONE minute per question plus the use of their texts (assuming they have read pages 7 to 25 in advance). At the end of the quarter-hour, students should exchange and mark each other's papers; this session should produce much beneficial discussion under the direction of the teacher.

For an in-depth study of the novel students will probably purchase the Coles' Notes on this novel; they should note, however, that George Woodcock's notes contain many points not given in that book.

Please select the BEST answer provided; in each case note the appropriate letter on a piece of lined paper: DO NOT WRITE ON THIS SHEET.

1. Dicken's interest in the penal system and his near obsession with prisons and prisoners may well be related to his having

A. spent his early childhood in Portsmouth and London.
B. worked in the office of a firm of Gray's Inn attorneys.
C. experienced the harshness of the Marshalsea Debtors' Prison.
D. covered the Old Bailey and executions for The Morning Chronicle.
E. had a near-death experience on the Thames while working in a factory.

2. Dickens got his start in the literary world with

A. Sketches by Boz.
B. The Pickwick Papers.
C. The Morning Chronicle.
D. the publishers Chapman and Hall.
E. the serial publication of his early reportage.

3. The secret or key to Dickens' literary success was his

A. stint as parliamentary reporter.
B. boyhood job at Hungerford Stairs.
C. experience with the illustrator Seymour.
D. using cheap serial publication to advantage.
E. knowledge of shorthand and the criminal courts.

4. According to George Woodcock, the key words that characterize Dickens' artistic intention in this novel are

A. drama and romance.
B. crime and punishment.
C. ambiguity and revolution.
D. civilisation and self-sacrifice.
E. resurrection and renunciation.

5. Dickens admitted that the idea of having one of two young men sacrifice himself for the happiness of the woman he loved came to him from another literary work,

A. Collins's The Moonstone.
B. Collins's The Woman in White.
C. Queen Victoria's Highland Journals.
D. Collins and Dickens's The Frozen Deep.

6. Dickens' only other historical novel, which also deals with mobs, riots, and revolution, is

A. Oliver Twist.
B. Barnaby Rudge.
C. David Copperfield.
D. Great Expectations.
E. The Pickwick Papers.

7. The single author who influenced Dickens most in his treatment of the French Revolution in this novel was

A. Victor Hugo.
B. Jules Michelet.
C. Thomas Carlyle.
D. G. K. Chesterton.
E. G. D. Bulwer-Lytton.

8. This novel was first published in April, 1859, in

A. two volumes.
B. Household Words.
C. All the Year Round.
D. monthly instalments.
E. a triple-decker format.

9. The novel's title balances the different ways of life and of politics of

A. Dover and Calais.
B. London and Paris.
C. Paris past and present.
D. Marseilles and Portsmouth.
E. London past and present

10. Although there are some characters whose source is Dickens's imagination, a factual and historical source exists for the following character:

A. Darnay.
B. Carton.
C. Lucie.
D. Foulon.

11. Although Woodcock initially describes this as "the least Dickensian of all the novels Dickens wrote" (p. 9), A Tale of Two Cities does display Dickens's habitual interest in ALL of the following EXCEPT

A. imprisonment.
B. social injustice.
C. individual and mob violence.
D. the manners and lifestyle of the aristocracy.

12. According to Woodcock, in this novel Dickens places the blame for the French Revolution with the

A. Defarges.
B. French nobility.
C. Jacobin Society.
D. spirit of the age.
E. French monarchy.

13. The ultimate personification of the revolution ....a being whom the uncontrolled desire for revenge has turned into a monster and who represents the forces of hatred is

A. Miss Pross.
B. Mr. Stryver.
C. Dr. Manette.
D. Sydney Carton.
E. Madame Defarge.

14. The theme of the novel is most obviously suggested by

A. Knitting.
B. Recalled to Life.
C. The Golden Thread.
D. The Track of the Storm.
E. The Footsteps Die Out For Ever

15. Editor George Woodcock labels the most unconvincing character in A Tale of Two Cities

A. Lucie.
B. Carton.
C. Darnay.
D. Stryver.
E. Madame Defarge.

Click here to view your answers.


Victorian Web Overview Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

Last Modified 19 December 2000