The Tale of Two Cities

The novel “A Tale of Two Cities” is an historical work of one of the great writers, Charles Dickens. It’s famed not only of its recounts on the history of the European revolution era, particularly the French nation, but its contents are noble in the teachings of vital subjects in the human life. In the first part of it, it tries to show the two contrasting sides of human nature. This was affirmed in the opening of the narrative whereby the author says “It was the best times, it was the worst of times” which gave some inside of mixed kind of life. Besides this, Dickens’s work recounts on the interaction of man with each others. This brings out more about the reality of persons intermingling. In the story, there are several themes exposed in the whole account including death, resurrection, revenge, romance and love among other. Although there are numerous themes which are created in the narration, one of the core aim of the author work to the target audience was the message on sacrifice (Dickens, 1985).

Most of the time, it’s said that love is blind, a phrase which could have been better suited in the Dickens’s novel “A tale of two cities”. The revolution era is depicted to have been filled with wave of love. Many of the key characters used by Charles were all attracted or in love with at least one person. There is a show of relentless attractions of love among the major characters in the story.  However, they love could not be express as mere simple love materialistic love. As it‘s disclosed in the different parts of the novel, love demands more than just material gifts, but it entails the willingness of losing or deeply suffering for the one you love (Mantin, 1992).

Sacrifice as a major theme in the Dickens’s novel “A tale of two cities” was demonstrated throughout the story. Undoubtedly, a number of the key role players in novel were blinded of their spouse, partners and friends. Persons like Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay and Dr. Manette could be seen void of sight only because of the power of love. The trio among others demonstrate power of love, and by doing so, they offered themselves to inflictions on behalf of their loved ones. Sacrifice is a powerful tool that is used in the society and at national level to save or liberate the society/ community, but it can also be used to make redemption of individuals. Generally, the redemption implies the rebirth or renewal of ones life from sinful nature to the life of salvation and righteousness (Guerard, 1976).

As depicted in the canon of the Dickens’ story, sacrifice is like vehicle to take man to his destiny of happiness. In the first and foremost encounter with Lucie Manette, she gave her life to a strange gentleman. Surprisingly, Lucie’s devotion to a stranger as the initial act of sacrifice in the novel connected her to her father whom she had never seen before. It’s is revealed that as Lucie saw the man, she vow to him that she ought to bow and kneel to her honoured father.  She adds that she would implore him to pardon him… Despite the hostile environments and times they are living in, Lucie was not afraid of the dangers that might have erupted either by the stranger or from the neighbourhoods of the reception of the stranger as a loving one (Dickens, 1985).

During the era of revolution, it was upon the individuals to make the wise decision of the class or group you belonged. There were a few of the noble wealthy men in the village dwelling. However, the worst side is that while some had enough of food stuffs to place on table for their family, or even trash remnants in the garbage bin, most of the peasants were in most case forced to fast, and if the got something to put in their mouth, it was not even inadequate to maintain the optimal operation of their body metabolic functions. As the conditions worsen, the provision of family daily bread became very hard. It was unkind that most of the rich and wealthy men precariously spent what they with near neighbours going hungry for several day. Seeing that the rich had no pity on the pauper, Jerry Cruncher dared to make his leaving by working indiscriminative of day and night. He turned to be nocturnal worker and earned daily bread for his property stricken family. Despite the numerous risks that accompanied the illegal occupation, he dared to carry on with his daily businesses in sympathy of his family members to continue enjoying their happy life (Mantin, 1992).

While Jerry Cruncher was compelled to work hard on conditions that were not favourable by his close kin members, he could be compared to other men who gave out their life to unrelated members. Sydney Carton perhaps is attributed as the father of love in the Dickens’s work in “A Tale of the two cities”. He is an iconic character by the fact that his love for others transcended family and kinship boundaries. As indicated in the story, his love is comparable to the love of the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ. Actually, the laying down of Sydney Carton life not only demonstrated his love for others, but he could afford to die for his enemies like Jesus. Sydney’s pitiful suffering and the subsequent sorrowful blood death salvaged his greatest enemy Darnay. Through the laying of Sydney life for the salvation of Darnay has therefore been a troubling issue to their close friends. Most of them still wonder whether Sydney was in his senses or had lost it, that he was insane. When Carton tries to express the aids from Darnay, he is bitter for Darnay’s bleach of his relationship, and being furious he demonstrates that has been good for nothing through the phrase “a dissolute dog that has never done any good and never will.”  While considering the mistreatment of Carton, this was sarcastic. He was bullied, abused to a point of laying down of his life in a similar manner like Christ (Dickens, 1985).

Sydney was a real utilitarian who was in fond of bettering the lives of others as though was messiah in the biblical context. Like Jesus Christ, Sydney not only sacrificed him for those who mistreated him like bitch, but showed great love to those who were heavy laden. He was man inspired of desperate love when he met with Lucie at the first time, he did hesitate to show this. While putting himself on the Lucie’s shoes, he was willing to take away the burdens of Lucie, and relieve her from the desperate life that comprised of scandalous love affairs. In the demonstration of his desperate love, he does not mind of the menace of revolution, instead he determined to perpetuate happiness in Lucie’s life. He therefore said “if my career were of that better kind, that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you.”   As love is blind, he loved his wife with unfathomable love which could only be measured in the scales of his own heart. During the revolution plagues, many people fell in the hands of unmerciful prisoners. The police executed indiscriminative arrests, apprehend both youngster and adults, male and female, paupers and rich, literate and the illiterate. They neither spared the pregnant nor do they show respect of the unborn infants in the mother’s womb (Guerard, 1976).

Contemplating of the menace of the prison conditions, Dr. Manette couldn’t let his beloved wife to bear the eminent suffering in prison. In his defence of his wife, he relentlessly fought for his wife until the wife’s faults were diminished and never view as hers faults but was faultless. The blindly protection of Dr. Manette led him to serve the longest imprisonment ever known of that time. He endured the piecing coldness of the winter season for more than sixteen years, which consequently resulted to the deterioration of her health making him to lose his physical posture and changing some of the body anatomy. Additionally, the long stay behind the bar also deteriorated his psychological fitness and before the end of the restricted prison life, he almost had forgotten his name. Furthermore, Manette struggled to embrace happiness of others from all perspectives. Though in most cases it is against the societal norms and culture for individuals to marry their close relatives, Dr. Manette stance made it possible for his daughter to be espoused to his nephew. This was one of the costly marriages as its success was also cost the lost one’s mental health. It says “any fancies, any reasons and apprehensions, anything whatsoever, old or new against the man she really loved, they shall all be obliterated for her shake.” Such statement were crucial the willingness of forgoing one’s rights, senses and feelings (Dickens, 1985).

Overtly, Lucie received the highest favour from most of the people she interacted with.  While she might have been the source of the insanity status of Manette, She also charmed the hearts many others including Ms. Pross, who sight could see nothing more than entrusting her faith to Lucie. Day after another, she devoted her life to mitigated Lucie’s life which for her was a the most significant gift she could afford in life. Lorry affirms this in description of Pross’s devout nature; he says “there is nothing better in the world than the faithful service of t he heart, so rendered and so free from the mercenary taint.” (Mantin, 1992).   She further demonstrate the love for others in many areas, and at one moment she expressed as one of the unselfish creatures among women that will deliberately associate with willing slaves purely out of love and admiration. She will then give them beauty, hope and other accomplishments that they had never dreamt of. The Pross’s life was therefore a dedicated for the betterment of the lives of those who were under pressure such as Lucie. She hope for the future bright life for free from tyranny and oppressions and it might look as though she was living disillusioned when she thinks of bringing new beauty to the Lucie’s life. This was symbolically used to a changed live from oppression.

The French revolution time was an era marked by numerous horrible and terrifying tragedies in the nation. These worse times of unjustifiable torture and tyranny scared most of the indigenous inhabitants, and mostly the peasants whom formed the largest proportion of the population of the paupers. Whereas it was overt that both noblemen and the paupers were both being condemned, there is a feeling that most of the innocent poor families suffered the most. Hence, we are tempted to show pity and sympathy to most of the poorer households than the richer one.  For instance, it was established that eighty percent of the suspects who went through the guillotine during the worse times were the poor. This showed most of peasant were ready to sacrifice their life to salvage the rest of the oppressed groups. This was a portrayal of the love and value they placed on the own people (Mantin, 1992).   .

Finally, there success of the liberation of the oppressed from physically and the spiritual nature was purely through the sacrifice of men and women who denial themselves their own happiness for the sake of their loved and enemies. Similarly, sacrifice in Dickens’ work was symbolically used to show the sacrifice that God gave in the redemption of man from the sinful world. Through the used of parodies under similar situations like those through which Jesus was persecuted and killed, the audience and the readers are emotionally deeply affected of the painful priced of life that was paid by the messiah. Sacrifice plays crucial role in the lives of man and it offers life during in time of calamities and great depression that extent to a point of death. Many of those who made sacrifice in the Dickens’s gave bettered that lives of others or helped other live long, which means, we must embrace making ourselves sacrifice for the benefit of others as way of adding value to their lives.  

Order now

Related essays