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Resurrection and Sacrifice Charles Dickens was an English novelist in the 19th century. A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens is a story of sacrifice and resurrection. Throughout the novel many instances of this are displayed. Charles Darnay, Dr. Manette and Lucie Manette, and Sydney Carton are all examples of sacrifice and resurrection in the novel. First, Charles Darnay is resurrected through sacrificing his life as a French aristocrat. Darnay cannot stand to be associated with the injustices of his uncle, Marquis Evremonde, and sacrifices his freedom and privileges.
At his uncle’s will, Darnay is placed on trial for treason against England. Because imprisonment is compared to a living death, when Darnay escapes imprisonment he is resurrected from social disapproval. Second, Dr. Manette and Lucie Manette are a prime example of sacrifice and resurrection because of love. Dr. Manette, after being imprisoned for eighteen years, is essentially soulless and makes shoes as a way of coping with tortures of prison. Lucie Manette, his daughter, sacrifices her life to nurse her struggling father back to health and resurrect him.
Although Lucie strongly influences Dr. Manette’s recover, he makes his own sacrifice to Lucie that completes his resurrection. Through showing Lucie his own love in the same way she did for him, he gains spiritual strength. Lastly, we see an example of sacrifice and resurrection because of love through Sydney Carton. When we first meet Carton, he is essentially a drunkard who had not really achieved anything in his life thus far. When he meets Lucie, he falls in love with her.
Even though she chooses Darnay, Carton vows to protect her and the ones she loves. As Darnay is sentenced to be guillotined, Carton holds to his vow and exchanges clothes with Darnay. He makes the sacrifice of his life to protect Lucie and those that she cares for. Although his life was ended, Carton is resurrected because he achieves something great and is remembered for doing so. Through Charles Darnay, Dr. Manette and Lucie, and Sydney Carton we are shown examples of sacrifice for love and a subsequent resurrection.
Darnay sacrifices his freedom and privileges to be resurrected and unassociated with the cruel injustices of his uncle. Lucie sacrifices her life to help resurrect her father, and Dr. Manette completes his own resurrection by showing Lucie the same love she has shown him. Carton makes the biggest sacrifice of all, his own life, to show his love for Lucie and because of this his life has meaning and his is resurrected. Chuck Palahniuk said, “Only after disaster can we be resurrected. ” Through A Tale of Two Cities, we can see that this holds true.
Author: Brandon Johnson
A Tale of Two Cities: Resurrection and Sacrifice
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Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities
- Length: 1007 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities
During a time of lost hope, death and war, the `golden thread', Lucie Manette plays the roll of a heroine doing everything she can to make sure the important people in her life are loved. Lucie provides not only warmth toward her father, Dr. Manette, but also towards the man that yearns for Lucie's love; Sydney Carton. Despite all the negativity that surrounds Lucie and her loved ones, she doesn't fail to lead her father and Carton to rebirth.
Unlike the process of actual birth, rebirth is associated with rejuvenation. Rebirth is a second or new birth and in the case of A Tale of Two Cities it is deserved. Rebirth is portrayed as nothing close to the literal meaning of birth at all. Charles Dickens makes it obvious that Dr. Manette and Carton both deserve a second chance by showing that they both really are good people. In chapter 19, Dr. Manette earns rebirth by gaining the strength to mentally and literally walk away from the negative attitude that is associated with his shoemaking bench and his past times. Carton shows that he deserves rebirth in chapter 13 by proving that he is a good and caring person when he tells Lucie that even though he craves her love, all he wants is for her to be happy.
After Dr. Manette's imprisonment in the Bastille for 18 years, the only thing he willingly says is `105 north tower` and is seemingly hypnotized by his shoemaking bench. This is where Dickens lets the reader know that Dr. Manette's imprisonment drives him insane. When Dr. Manette is rescued by Defarge and brought to his `long lost' daughter, rebirth does not take place immediately, as the doctor continues to repeat things to himself. In chapter 5, Lucie is portrayed as a caring character simply by the description given of her, as well as others reactions to her. "...His eyes rested on a short, slight, pretty figure, a quantity of golden hair [and] a pair of blue eyes that met his own." From simply the description given of Lucie, she can be recognized as a caring person. Lorry's reaction to Lucie also strengthens Lucie's caring glow.
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Two Cities Resurrection Manette Tale Lucie Manette Blue Eyes Only Thing Good People Second Chance
"As his eyes rested on these things, a sudden vivid likeness passed before him of a child whom he had held in his arms..." As Dickens compares Lucie to a child, her innocence is proclaimed.
Although the rebirth of Dr. Manette does not take place immediately, Lucie shows her love for her father from the beginning of his arrival. In chapter six of book the first while Lucie is greeting her father for the first time in 18 years, she tells him that "the agony is over...I have come here to take you from it..." This is where the rebirth starts because this is where Dickens lets the reader know that Lucie is going to do all she can for her father and give him only love. After Dr. Manette's return to England, its obvious that the doctor is slowly returning to sanity in chapter five when Dr. Manette is able to make full conversation at Charles Darnay`s trial. In chapter seven of book the third, the narrator updates us on Dr. Manette. "No garret, no shoemaking, no One Hundred and Five, North Tower, now! He had accomplished the task he had set himself." This is where Dickens lets us know that Dr. Manette's return to sanity has been completed. While Lucie continues to care for her father, another man, Sydney Carton, makes it known that he as well needs Lucie to cure him.
Just as Lucie did with her father, Lucie will try and do all she can to help her dear friend Carton. In chapter 13 when Carton stops at the Manette's house, he has a conversation with Lucie in which he tells her how he feels about himself. At the peak of this conversation, Lucie says "can I not recall you...to a better course? Can I in no way repay your confidence?" This makes it known that Lucie will be the one to give Carton a second chance. Lucie does in fact use her love and sympathy to lead Carton to rebirth and Dickens later shows the effects Lucie has had on Carton. "[Carton] was so unlike what he had ever shown himself to be, and it was so sad to think how much he had thrown away..." This a totally new tone that is shown by Carton, whereas from the start of the book to the introduction of Lucie and his conversation, he was described as a drunk nobody that obviously thought nothing of himself. In chapter four of book the first Darnay comments to Carton "I think you have been drinking, Mr. Carton." To this, Carton responds " Think? You know I have been drinking. I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth and no man on earth cares for me." During chapter 13 where Lucie says to Carton "I entreated you to believe again and again, most fervently, with all my heart, was capable of better things, Mr. Carton!" Lucie has saved Carton by letting him know that she believed in him.
Both Dr. Manette and Sydney Carton have been saved by the impact of Lucie's unfailing care. Lucie saves her father by simply caring for him and being a friend, and she also saves Sydney Cartons life by believing in him and letting him know that he meant more than he thought. The characters in A Tale of Two Cities obviously play predominant roles in each other's lives, and resurrection, or rebirth is one of the main themes in this novel. Dickens uses the power of love to oppose war that is surrounding all of France and England. Resurrection was a very clever theme for Dickens to use because if the characters in A Tale of Two Cities couldn't be recalled back to life, they would simply die off.