Literary Conflict in A Tale of Two Cities

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for A Tale of Two Cities


Conflict in A Tale of Two Cities

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Activity Overview


Storyboarding is an excellent way to focus on types of literary conflicts.

Having students create storyboards that show the cause and effect of different types of conflicts strengthens analytical thinking about literary concepts. Have your students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict them using the storyboard creator. In the storyboard, an example of each conflict should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict.


Examples of Literary Conflict in A Tale of Two Cities

MAN vs. MAN

Madame Defarge doesn’t just seek revenge on Charles and his uncle and father; she also wishes to make sure that his wife and daughter are eliminated. She takes a gun and goes to their lodging in Paris, but Miss Pross is the only one there. Miss Pross keeps Mme. Defarge from opening a door in the house, so Mme. Defarge attacks her. When she reaches into her dress and pulls out a gun, Miss Pross grabs her wrist and the gun goes off, killing Mme. Defarge.


MAN vs. SELF

Sydney Carton is a lonely, unhappy man who seems to be in a deep depression about his life and what could have been different. He bears a strong resemblance to Charles Darnay, and often wistfully compares himself to Charles’ successes. He believes that Lucie could make him whole, but she does not love him the way that he loves her. He swears he will do anything for her or for those dear to her, a promise which he fulfills when he sacrifices his life for Charles.


MAN vs. SOCIETY

Charles Darnay was taken away from his father by his mother many years before because of the atrocities his father and uncle committed. He maintains as he gets older that his family name is a source of shame, and he renounces it and his inheritance to his uncle later on. However, he is still a member of the aristocracy in the French peasants’ eyes, and there is no place for him to return when he comes back to try to save Gabelle. While he is accepted in England, his family’s crimes cannot be forgiven in France.



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in A Tale of Two Cities.


  1. Identify conflicts in A Tale of Two Cities.
  2. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  3. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  4. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

Literary Conflict Template

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