A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities
Throughout the book, A Tale of Two Cities
the theme of sacrifice is used to help the reader realize the cost of life,
as well as to develop the plot through the effects of those sacrifices.
Through the characters of Sydney Carton, Dr. Manette, and Ms. Pross the
theme of sacrifice is developed. The theme of sacrifice brings key aspects
of the plot together, and Carton's sacrifice brings the novel to closer
in the end.
Sydney Carton paid the highest cost of
sacrifice with his life, and in doing so he was very similar to Jesus Christ.
Carton laid down his life for a man who had never done anything for him
and who in fact had abused his relationship as demonstrated on page 191
when Carton describes himself in Darnay's view as "a dissolute dog who
has never done any good, and never will." Similarly Jesus Christ let himself
be beaten, abused, and killed for the same people who spit in his face.
Other people in both cases thought that Jesus and Carton were not thought
to be much more that dogs, while they both sacrificed their lives so these
people who treated them like dogs could live. Both Carton's and Jesus'
sacrifice was inspired by a deep desperate love for which they were willing
to do anything. Carton was willing to die for Lucie because of his desperate,
scandalous love for her, just as Jesus showed his love for man when he
was willing to give up his life for every man. This level of love makes
the sacrifice even more valuable and brings things to closure. Finally,
Carton and Jesus both knew that through their sacrifice, others could have
life. Carton's death breathed life into Darnay just as Jesus Christ's death
breathes life into those who trust in him. The importance of their death
is that it brings life. The role of Carton's sacrifice in the plot is that
the cost of life is sometimes high. Through his sacrifice the cost and
privilege of living can be measured, just as Christians can see the true
cost and privilege of life through Jesus Christ's sacrifice.
Dr. Manette also sacrificed much of his
life by giving up his own personal goals and agenda for Lucie. On page
125 Dr. Manette says, "any fancies, any reasons, and apprehensions, anything
whatsoever, new or old against the man she really loved...they shall all
be obliterated for her sake." Dr. Manette was willing to relinquish his
own personal feelings or perhaps "rights" so that Lucie may be happy. He
set aside, "anything whatsoever" in order for Lucie to marry the man she
loves. Dr. Manette did anything he could to save Darnay from death, even
to the point where Madame Defarge mocked him saying, "Save him now, my
Doctor save him!" Dr. Manette had always been suspicious about Darnay,
but he put aside his doubts in to Make Lucie happy. Deep down he knew that
Darnay was an Evermondé, but he sacrificed his own feelings for
Lucie's feelings. Thirdly, Dr. Manette gave up all of his desires, hopes,
thoughts of revenge for Lucie, as demonstrated when he says, "She is everything
to me; more to me than suffering, more to me than wrong, more to me...."
Dr. Manette had years of anger and revenge stored up him from when he was
imprisoned, yet he forgot about all of it and only tried to make Lucie
happy and make up for the many years he had lost. Dr. Manette's pain was
so great that he often reverts to the insanity that was caused from his
imprisonment, while he still does everything he can even though his pain
is so great that he can not physically control it. Manette laid down his
life so that Lucie could fully live.
Ms. Pross sacrificed her life day by day
for Lucie to have a better life. Ms. Pross simply devoted her life to Lucie,
and her well being which is shown when Mr. Lorry describes Ms. Pross's
devotion, "there is nothing better in the world than the faithful service
of the heart; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint" (87). Ms.
Pross was sacrificed things everyday by simply being devoted to Lucie.
She did everything she could so that Lucie could have the best possible
life. Ms. Pross's devotion is demonstrated once again on page 86 when she
is described as, "one of those unselfish creatures found only among women
who will for pure love and admiration, bind