Characters in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
This tale operates on so many levels. Most obviously, it sets up multiple levels of contrast between characters, places, philosophies and world views. These contrasting forces are not portrayed as equal. The overriding impression is one of a dark and increasingly corrupt world, or rather such a human nature inflicted on the world. Yet in various places and in various people and relationships, we find glimpses of nobility, morality and love that give hope. One of the nastiest 'villains' meets a fitting end, while others seem to prosper. Some villains seem to grow uncomfortable with the evil they unleash only to find it unmanageable. The 'good' characters' strength is not in force but in hope, morality, endurance and love. As such, this is a somewhat religious story although I wouldn't see it as an evangelistic work. Dickens does not take sides with any single socio-economic group. His heroes range from a reformed grave robber to a reformed French lord. The key is that they have all experienced a reformation of sorts, leaving behind a corrupted beginning. So this is a tale of endurance, not one of breaking free.