Questions to Ponder

Estimated time: 30-45 minutes

Questions to Ponder

Think about and discuss these questions from your reading.

  1. The opening line of this book is one of the most well-known lines of all time. What does it mean? What is the author saying, and why does he say it this way?
  2. In Book the First, Chapter 1, the story opens with chaos everywhere you turn. How does this description compare to what you know of the world and the time you are living?
  3. In Chapter 2, Mr. Lorry tells Jerry Cruncher to return the message, "Recalled to Life!" What do you think this means?
  4. Book the First, Chapter 3 opens with this: "A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other." What do you think this means?
  5. In Book the First, Chapter 5, why are people drinking wine off the ground and mixed with mud? The spilled wine symbolizes what?
  6. What is your first impression of Madame and Monsieur Defarge?
  7. Describe Jerry Cruncher. Why is he angry at his wife? What physical characteristic does his son wonder about in Book the Second, Chapter 1?
  8. Summarize the court case against Charles Darnay and the results.
  9. Compare and contrast Stryver and Carton.
  10. What do you think of Miss Pross?
  11. Who are the "Hundreds of People" in Book the Second, Chapter 6?


After you have pondered and discussed these questions with your teacher, choose one to complete a freewrite on. If you are unfamiliar with freewriting, here are a few tips:

  • Keep your pencil moving. Don’t stop. Just brain dump onto your paper
  • Have a set amount of time. Set a timer and write for the full amount of time.
  • Ignore all grammar and spelling. Don’t let editing slow down the process. The goal is to get thoughts on paper. Spelling and grammar are not important in this instance.
  • Pen and paper aren’t the only ways to freewrite. Feel free to type on the computer. Not only does this accomplish the task, but it builds typing skills.

Share your freewrite with us in the comments below.