A Tale Of Two Cities 2

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A Tale Of Two Cities – Critical Analysis Essay, Research Paper A Tale of Two Cities – Critical Analysis In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote the book A Tale of Two Cities. In A Tale, Dickens writes about the French Revolution, and relates the events in the lives of two families, one French and one English. In addition to writing about a very interesting fiction plot, Dickens also tied in a wide variety of important themes and sub plots that keep the reader interested as well as portraying very valuable lessons for us even today. He chose very archetypical characters for the book, all strengthening or portraying one of the themes. The main themes are revenge, courage and sacrifice, and resurrection. One theme involves revenge; the evil effects of revenge bring out one’s bad

side. Although it occurs many times in A Tale, Madame Defarge is the main character representing this theme. Her sister and mother were assaulted by the brothers Evr monde. After this, she vows to herself that all members of the Evr monde family will die. She turns into a ruthless killer because she must get revenge. When her husband tells her to stop, she replies, “tell the wind and fire to stop, not me” (pg 338). We now see that she is a person teeming with hatred. Revenge is so powerful. When she found out Charles Darnay is an Evr monde and is planning to marry Lucie Manette, she began to knit his name into the shroud she was making, symbolizing his impending death. Also, she tried to kill Lucie and her daughter, just because they were related to an Evr monde, even though

Darnay (Evr monde) denounced his heritage and disconnected all relationships to them. Lucie was in a state of mourning so Defarge jumped on the situation. “She will be at home, awaiting the moment of his death. She will be mourning and grieving. She will be in a state of mind to impeach the justice of the Republic. She will be full of sympathy with its enemies. I will go to her.” (p. 349) She had no mercy, her main goal was to kill all descendants of the Evr monde family, women and children included and even non-blood relatives. At the end of the novel, she receives an end fitting her ways; she was killed by Ms. Pross, who is the epitome of love and kindness. It is evident from here that Dickens believed that good would always win over bad. Madame Defarge was going to kill

out of hate and revenge, but she got killed because of the love Ms. Pross had for her friend Lucie. Another key theme in the novel has to do with courage and sacrifice. There were many sacrifices in this novel by many different characters. Charles Darnay went back into the war-torn France from his safe house and family in England to save his former servant Gabelle from the hands of the rebels. He did this, for the simple reason that he gave his promise, many months ago. Also, Dr Manette ’sacrifices’ his love for her for her love to Darnay. After the wedding, we see how much Lucie means to Dr Manette in his return to cobbling shoes. Sydney Carton made the ultimate sacrifice. Because of his love for Lucie and his friendship with Darnay, Carton’s actions portray one of the

most important themes implied in this book. Carton helps others, and does not think so much of himself. As we first see Sydney Carton, he is a lazy man, who drinks his life away. However there is more to him as he said “I cause no harm to any man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me” (page 99). He does not like the other people’s view of him, and he wants to change it. When Darnay was sent to the guillotine, Carton could have let him go, and possibly have Lucie for himself. However, he ended up being the true hero, and sacrificed his life for the life of another, in the name of love. Right before going to the guillotine, Carton visualizes a better life, a life where he gave to others, not thinking of himself. It shows the complete turn-a-round in his view of life for