The Importance of Sacrifice in "A Tale Of Two Cities"

It is a story focused on the conflict in France, where poverty is the source of the entire country’s economic decline, where the upper class neglects the lower class into starvation, and how a revolution breaks out. The Tale of Two Cities is written by Charles Dickens who illustrates that rebirth contributes to the acceptance of unfortunate occurrences. Dr. Manette is a man who is freed of incarceration because of the family of Charles Darnay who is secretly a French aristocrat living in England, but his identity is soon discovered as Evremonde, and results in Sydney Carton redeeming himself of being a drunk by replacing Darnay underneath the guillotine. In the Tale of Two Cities, the author, Charles Dickens uses the imprisonment of Dr. Manette, the aristocratic life of Charles Darnay, and the redemption of Sydney Carton to contribute to the theme of the novel that rebirth is possible through sacrifice.

Dr. Manette is a former prisoner of 18 years, and for a man who has an experience of being held captive, he has a good heart for sacrificing himself for the freedom of individuals. In the book, “They are murdering the prisoners. If you are sure of what you say: if you really have the power you think you have as I believe you have- make yourself known to these devils, and get taken to La Force”. Dr. Manette assures Darnay of his freedom even though Darnay’s family is the reason why those 18 years are nothing good, but memories of suffering. When Lucie rescues him, she helps him adjust to his life of being free. By assisting Darnay for him to be released, it gives Manette a pathway to finally accepting his past. Manette has a realization that they’re going through similar experiences by being a prisoner. Forgiving the bad memories and making Charles’ freedom his top priority revives him into the new life Lucie introduces himself to.

Dr. Manette is sacrificing himself from his past by saving Charles Darnay, who escapes Paris to hide the fact that he is born an Evremonde. Darnay changes his last name and sacrifices his old life for a new one in England. In Book Two, “This property and France are lost to me… I renounce them”. As part of the Evremonde family, he wants to rid himself of his father’s mistakes and the aristocracy in France. Charles Darnay disappears from his old life to have a fresh start in England. He does not want the actions of the aristocracy to follow him into his new life because of who he is. When he meets Lucie Manette, he finally runs into the love he has been on a journey to find. Though she meets him as Charles Darnay, and not Charles Evremonde. He does not want the conflict of his past to influence any of his relationships, especially his relationship with Lucie. From changing his last name, finding love, and escaping his father’s mistakes, he is able to change his life for a better outcome.

Charles Darnay rids himself of his past, and creates a better life, Sydney Carton accepts the fate of sacrificing himself for Charles Evremonde which relieves himself of his miserable life. In Book Three, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known”. Carton wants to make one good decision in his life. Sacrificing himself gives him a positive outlook on what he is doing, not only does he think it will be beneficial to people, but it will also make Lucie happy knowing that he is saving Darnay’s life. He is in love with Lucie, but he cannot be with her. The only thing he can do is make her happy, and by saving Darnay’s life, he feels that she will be able to live a life she loves. Carton feels that his spirit will not die, but will live through Lucie’s life. His memory will correlate with his heroic act. Putting an end to his life comes to show his change from being a resentful person into being a hero will put an effect on the betterment of other’s lives.

Dr. Manette, Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton sacrifice their past of incarceration, aristocracy, and alcoholism. From being a prisoner for 18 years to putting effort in freeing a man whose family caused his imprisonment, Dr. Manette learns to accept the events of his past by fighting for Charles Darnay’s Freedom. For a man who is running away being an Evremonde apart of the aristocracy, Charles Darnay proves to himself of a better man than his father, and a person against the actions of the aristocracy. From drinking throughout his life and doing no good, Sydney Carton seeks redemption by taking the death penalty for Darnay. All three sacrifices accepted the misfortune in their lives and worked through the possibility of rebirth.

10 October 2020
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