A Tale of Two Cities: Opportunity in the Face of Failure
When a man’s road to happiness is cut off by a wrong turn and a person finds themselves lost in an unknown state, a second chance is a miraculous hand that comes out at the person, opening up another path, even at his lowest of stages, to once again be able to reach at a goal. That is life. A second chance, if taken, can act as a renewal of vows or even as a renewal of the person’s choices. Within the notorious 19th century novel, A Tale of Two Cities, written by the English author, Charles Dickens, this revival or rebirth can be found in the essence of life that make up the characters that take part in the novel. The protagonist in the novel proves himself to be a well-mannered man named Charles Darnay who ventures out to Britain, leaving a shameful aristocratic life behind in France. Thus this was common move as the novel situates a revolutionary time period; a time period where all of France is wreaking havoc in revolt and people either escape or get killed. It is through this revolution, under every dark pebble in the path to revolution, behind every nook, and in every corner of this revolution, that a revival is found enlightening a new force of people and ideas to prosper.
Dicken’s most notable feminine character, Ms. Lucie Manette, is seen as an outstanding reference to this theme of resurrection found reoccurring endlessly in the novel. Lucie is a person that ingeniously unites everyone together, whether considering Sydney carton, an alcoholic friend, Dr. Manette, her father, or Darnay her husband, she keeps the world from going mad and brings them all together, “Ever busily winding the golden thread that bound them all together, weaving the service of her happy influence through the tissue of all their lives, and making it predominate nowhere, Lucie heard in the echoes of years none but friendly and soothing sounds.” She brings out resurrection in never letting the family fall apart, yet the opposite, she continuously unites and nurtures the bonds, furthering everyone’s development and picking everyone up when in need, as if she were an all-powerful Eve figure. Yet Lucie is seen to never drop her nurturing figure that resurrects everyone who comes near her as later on in the novel she’s seen to go all out in search for her imprisoned husband. She represents a perfect mother and when receiving word her husband Darnays been imprisoned, she felt it her duty to go there with her father in an effort to get him out and recall him back to life, call him out of a wrongfully sentenced imprisonment. Thus she demonstrates this in her argument with Madame Defarge and begs her to spare his life and to even think of it through a perspective “as a wife and a mother”. Showing her efforts to enlighten not only those close to her, but those against her, such as Madame Defarge, whom she tried to get to see in the same way that she sees, a view that a second chance is right, that revival is a thing sacred to a person; something her husband was in need of as his death was staked on whether he’d be able to get out.
Lucie Manette’s father, Dr. Manette, is another quite critical example of resurrection within the novel. Now, Doctor Manette had been imprisoned for 18 years of his life, wrongfully, missing out every aspect of his daughter, Lucie’s childhood. “She was the golden thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery, and to a Present beyond his misery: and the sound of her voice, the light of her face, the touch of her hand, had a strong beneficial influence with him almost always.” He spent so much time in prison without human contact that he went virtually mad. Yet the reader can see that with the aid of Dr. Manette’s loving daughter, she broke through the shroud of insanity to reach him on his calm, normal, and sane Dr. Manette attributes. She brought him back to life. He was virtually dead, trapped inside a cell, doing nothing but making shoes. Yet she brought back his memories, and with those memories, brought back his life. In respect to that act Dr. Manette raided Luice into the proper woman that can tell write from wrong and go even further in cleansing the lives of others, “…now. If your suit should prosper, if Lucie should love you, you shall tell me one your wedding day…”. Dr. Manette saw respectfully that Darnay was a proper man to wed his daughter and that with Darnay, she would grow in contact with more people, furthing her icon as an angel that resurrects all around. Regardless of the fact that Dr. Manette might have speculated Charles Darnay holding some secrets, in order to achieve whats best for her daughter he refused to hear those secrets, Charles’s real name, till he knew that they were officially married.
Sydney Carton was a man undoubtedly a victim of resurrection. He is known within the novel, initially, as a heavy alcoholic, he’s got nothing to live for and he really melancholic when it comes to aspects about his life. Yet love changed him, “O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father’s face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!”. When he met Lucie at the court he immediately fell in love. Thus it grew to a point where it did not matter anymore that Darnay “beat him” to marry her. He became close to their entire family and changed for her. He became a better shaped person all around, this all being a resurrection from a pit of despair towards a bright happy life with Lucie, Darnay and their family. Sydney’s change into a better man did not end there though, as his look a like characteristics with Charles Darnay again proved helpful in his aid to bringing back a man wrongfully placed in hell. Sydney gives his life for Charles, “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die,” Charles, after going back to paris was put in jail and Sydney Carton knew what his rightful duties were. He cared so much about Lucie and her family that he knew in order to maintain their happiness he had to switch with Charles in the cell so Charles could go free. Thus he referred to the bible because he, just as a jesus figure, gave his life for another, Charles Darnay, for their well being over his in order to resurrect them to their rightfully happy lives.
A being is given one opportunity at life, one opportunity at their goal and one opportunity to succeed. Yet it is only with the aid of some gracious being that, in a state of lonely despair, that the being can once again be resurrected into another shot at their rightful purpose. Thus in the novel , A Tale Of Two Cities, written by the author, Charles Dickens, the idea is clearly brought out through the numerous event and the people included in his novel, beings such as Lucie Manette, Sydney Carton, and Dr Manette who all symbolize the pure essence of what it is to be truly recalled to life. Through his colorful language and unique forms of writing, Dickens makes resurrection a clear and mesmerizing idea that transports the reader to an entirely different era.
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