Skip to content

Essay On Tale Of Two Cities Theme

Free Essays on A Tale of Two Cities: Theme of Resurrection

  • Length: words ( double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓


Theme of Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities

 

 In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens uses a variety of themes, including, revenge, revolution, fate, and imprisonment. Though these are very important themes, and were integral elements of this novel, resurrection served as the main theme aside from the obvious one which is revolution. The reason I chose resurrection instead of revolution, is because it is applicable outside of this novels setting. It is also important to note that the theme of sacrifice is closely tied into resurrection.

    The phrase "recalled to life" sounds the first note in the theme of  resurrection with Dr. Manette's release from the Bastille after 18 years of solitary confinement, and sets Dickens' plot in motion.  The secret papers left in Manette's cell lead directly to the novel's climax, Charles Darnay's sentence to die.

    Cruncher's grave robbing graphically illustrates the theme of resurrection:  he literally raises people from the dead. One of the plot's biggest surprises is based on Cruncher's uunsuccesful attempt to unearthed the body of Roger Cly, the spy who testified with John Barsad against Charles Darnay.  In France, years after his graveyard expedition, Cruncher discloses that Cly's coffin contained only stones and dirt.  This information enables Sydney Carton to force John Barsad, Cly's partner, into a plot to save Charles Darnay's life.

    Another important, but easily overlooked example of resurrection is when Dr. Manette grows confidence in himself and becomes the leader of the group. Dr. Manette triumphs over his past life and has a sort of rebirth.

    The best example of resurrection in the entire book, is also partly ironic in that Sydney Carton must die for this resurrection to take place, when he is executed on the guillotine in Paris. However, his death is not in the book as Dicken's idea of poetic justice, as in the  case of the villains, but rather as a divine reward. This is displayed when Carton decides to sacrifice himself by dying on the guillotine instead of Darnay, with "I am the Resurrection and the life." This theme of resurrection appears earlier on with Carton's prophecy, where  he envisions a son to be born to Lucie and Darnay, a son who will bear Carton's name. Thus he will symbolically be reborn through Lucie and Darnay's child. This vision serves another purpose, though. In the early parts of the novel, Lucie and Darnay have a son, who dies when he is a very young child.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays on A Tale of Two Cities: Theme of Resurrection." dfknj.wz.cz. 13 Mar
    <dfknj.wz.cz?id=>.

LengthColor Rating 
A Tale of Two Cities Essay - Free A Tale of Two Cities Essays - Sydney Carton and Charles Darney Sydney Carton and Charles Darney were alike in certain ways but completely different in other ways. Some of their characteristics were very similar while others were unlike. Carton was an attorney’s assistant who lived in Paris while Darney was a teacher who lived in London. They both had intangibles about them that you just couldn’t put your finger on. These similarities and differences helped develop Dickens’s theme. Though there were some similarities between Sydney and Charles there were not that many   [tags: Tale Two Cities Essays] words
( pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Free Essays - A Tale of Two Cities - Critical Analysis - A Tale of Two Cities - Critical Analysis In , 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   [tags: Tale Two Cities Essays] words
( pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
The Role of Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities Essay examples - Robespierre, the dictator of the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror once said, "Terror is nothing other than [just], prompt, severe, [and] inflexible." If terror is just, would 30, men and women across France have lost their lives during the Reign of Terror. In Charles Dickens’s book, A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens uses the injustice in the French Revolution and the corruption in societies of that time to show the theme of resurrection along with many other themes. In the novel, the heroes and heroine use sacrifices to resurrect someone important in their lives   [tags: Charles Dickens] words
( pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Revolutionary Imagery in A Tale of Two Cities Essay - The French Revolution began in as a respectable insurrection; however, it soon became a bloody massacre. The peasants had been oppressed by poverty and the aristocracy. Eventually, they grew weary and tired of the subjugation; therefore, they revolted against the aristocracy, who had not anticipated the revolution. However, they became frenzied and blood thirsty, becoming carried away with the bloodshed. The novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens tells the story of these two classes along with that of two families and two cities, London and Paris, during the French Revolution   [tags: literary analysis, Charles Dickens]
:: 1 Works Cited
words
( pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Essay example - The French Revolution began in , inspired by the American Revolution, which ended a mere 6 years before the French Revolution began. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is set during the French Revolution for about half of the novel. Dickens focuses on a theme involving sacrifices made by certain characters right before the French Revolution and during the Revolution using many examples to develop the theme. He developed the theme of sacrifice for others in the name of something or someone throughout the book through the sacrifices of Manette’s sanity for Lucie Manette to marry Charles Darnay, Darnay’s freedom in order to go back to France to help Gabelle out of prison, and Sydney Ca   [tags: french revolution, american revolution]
:: 1 Works Cited
words
( pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay on The Inhumanities of Man in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - The French Revolution, which occurred in the late ’s was a period in history marked by violence and cruelty among classes. In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens powerfully depicts the cruelty of French society during this time of struggle. Throughout the novel, Dickens illustrates the theme of cruelty and inhumanity of men to their fellow countryman in France. This theme grows with each chapter and each brutal event in the novel. Dickens effectively develops the theme of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man in A Tale of Two Cities by showing various acts of cruelty including, the horrific murder of Old Foulon by the villagers, the extremes that the Revolutionaries take in   [tags: french revolution, classes]
:: 1 Works Cited
words
( pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Tale Of Two Cities Essay - A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Plot: It is the beginning of the French revolution and the countries at war with it's self. Many if not all of the lower class people believe it is time for change in the French Social and political system. Dr. Alexander Manette was a prisoner in the Bastille (Frances symbolism for Royal Authority) for 18 years. He is eventually released and he travels to London with Jarivs Lorry of Tellson bank, who had raised his daughter since Manette was imprisoned. Since Alexander had been imprisoned for so long he had lost touch with life, love, rest, duty and comfort which his daughter helps to bring out in him again   [tags: Charles Dickens] words
( pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Charles Dickens’ Novel A Tale of Two Cities Essay - Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton is one of the main characters in Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities. He is a complex character throughout the book and can be viewed in a positive or negative light and can also be compared similarly to Dickens himself. At the end of the novel, Sydney Carton dies on the guillotine to spare Charles Darnay. How would you interpret Carton's sacrifice. Your answer, positively or negatively, will affect your judgment of his character, and of Dickens' entire work   [tags: Free Essay Writer] words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay about Resurrection: Giving Meaning to Life - Rebirth, a prominent idea in Christianity and Western thought, is often associated with rejuvenation and second chances. The idea of a second birth is both a baptism and a change in identity— all of which figure prominently in Charles Dickens’s novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Two characters, Dr. Manette and Sydney Carton, both go through the process of rebirth and a change of identity. The process of birth is in nature a responsibility of the female, in both Dr. Manette’s case and Sydney Carton’s they are reborn through the actions they do for Lucie— whose name is telling in itself, meaning light/daylight all symbolic of something new/God the light and the way   [tags: Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities] words
( pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Free Essays - Tale of Two Cities - Tale of Two Cities The main purpose of this book is to show the contrasts between the peaceful city of London and the city of Paris, tearing itself apart in revolution. This is apparent in the very first line of the book, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" This is a contrast of the two cities, London, the tranquil home of Mr. Lorry and the Darnays'; and Paris, the center of a bloody revolution. The author shows gentleness in these violent times in the persons of Dr   [tags: Tale Two Cities Essays] words
( pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

Related Searches

Two Cities         Resurrection         Tale         Solitary Confinement         Manette         Sydney Carton         Dicken         Bastille         Grave        




This happens because the child was born in

 France instead of England, and if the DarnayCarton family is to survive into the future, they need a son to bear their name. But much more importantly, this second son will be born free of the aristocratic domination that has almost destroyed his father, Darnay's, life. So this is how the children of Lucie and Darnay will live as English citizens free of any association with France and its violent past. Also; Carton will never truly die because in his death, he will have resurrected his own life, giving it purpose and meaning.

     Themes in novels generally come from the authors personal life, and we probably don't know why Dicken's was so pre-occupied with the theme of resurrection, but it is none the less a very predominate method used in Dickens' writing. Even if we don't know why the author chose the theme of resurrection, it certainly added some spice to the novel, and was interwoven with great care into the novel's plot.



Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

The Ever-Present Possibility of Resurrection

With A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens asserts his belief in the possibility of resurrection and transformation, both on a personal level and on a societal level. The narrative suggests that Sydney Carton’s death secures a new, peaceful life for Lucie Manette, Charles Darnay, and even Carton himself. By delivering himself to the guillotine, Carton ascends to the plane of heroism, becoming a Christ-like figure whose death serves to save the lives of others. His own life thus gains meaning and value. Moreover, the final pages of the novel suggest that, like Christ, Carton will be resurrected—Carton is reborn in the hearts of those he has died to save. Similarly, the text implies that the death of the old regime in France prepares the way for the beautiful and renewed Paris that Carton supposedly envisions from the guillotine. Although Carton spends most of the novel in a life of indolence and apathy, the supreme selflessness of his final act speaks to a human capacity for change. Although the novel dedicates much time to describing the atrocities committed both by the aristocracy and by the outraged peasants, it ultimately expresses the belief that this violence will give way to a new and better society.

Dickens elaborates his theme with the character of Doctor Manette. Early on in the novel, Lorry holds an imaginary conversation with him in which he says that Manette has been “recalled to life.” As this statement implies, the doctor’s eighteen-year imprisonment has constituted a death of sorts. Lucie’s love enables Manette’s spiritual renewal, and her maternal cradling of him on her breast reinforces this notion of rebirth.

The Necessity of Sacrifice

Connected to the theme of the possibility of resurrection is the notion that sacrifice is necessary to achieve happiness. Dickens examines this second theme, again, on both a national and personal level. For example, the revolutionaries prove that a new, egalitarian French republic can come about only with a heavy and terrible cost—personal loves and loyalties must be sacrificed for the good of the nation. Also, when Darnay is arrested for the second time, in Book the Third, Chapter 7, the guard who seizes him reminds Manette of the primacy of state interests over personal loyalties. Moreover, Madame Defarge gives her husband a similar lesson when she chastises him for his devotion to Manette—an emotion that, in her opinion, only clouds his obligation to the revolutionary cause. Most important, Carton’s transformation into a man of moral worth depends upon his sacrificing of his former self. In choosing to die for his friends, Carton not only enables their happiness but also ensures his spiritual rebirth.

The Tendency Toward Violence and Oppression in Revolutionaries

Throughout the novel, Dickens approaches his historical subject with some ambivalence. While he supports the revolutionary cause, he often points to the evil of the revolutionaries themselves. Dickens deeply sympathizes with the plight of the French peasantry and emphasizes their need for liberation. The several chapters that deal with the Marquis Evrémonde successfully paint a picture of a vicious aristocracy that shamelessly exploits and oppresses the nation’s poor. Although Dickens condemns this oppression, however, he also condemns the peasants’ strategies in overcoming it. For in fighting cruelty with cruelty, the peasants effect no true revolution; rather, they only perpetuate the violence that they themselves have suffered. Dickens makes his stance clear in his suspicious and cautionary depictions of the mobs. The scenes in which the people sharpen their weapons at the grindstone and dance the grisly Carmagnole come across as deeply macabre. Dickens’s most concise and relevant view of revolution comes in the final chapter, in which he notes the slippery slope down from the oppressed to the oppressor: “Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.” Though Dickens sees the French Revolution as a great symbol of transformation and resurrection, he emphasizes that its violent means were ultimately antithetical to its end.

More main ideas from A Tale of Two Cities