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A Tale of Two Cities: Recalled To Life Essay


Recalled to life is a distinct theme traced throughout Charles Dickens famous novel, A Tale of Two cities. He uses intertwining themes of love, hate, good vs. evil, and redemption through different characters in the story. With the characters, Charles Dickens focuses on the underlying themes which helps to highlight the main theme of resurrection, or recalled to life. By doing so, the story comes together as a whole.

Dr. Manette is the first person to experience resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities. He is taken away from his pregnant wife and then imprisoned for eighteen very long years causing him to go insane. By being released from the Bastille by the French Government he is given the chance to redeem himself. He is originally put in the care of Monsieur Defarge and is suddenly recalled to life. However, his rebirth has just begun and is not complete until Lucie and Mr. Lorry nurse him back to health. Dr. Manette goes from a state of insanity and isolation, to purposeful and sane, recalling him back to life with the help of those who care.

In the second book, The Golden Thread, the resurrection theme appears once again. At the beginning, Charles Darnay is on trial for treason in England. He has been traveling back and forth from France to England and is thought to be a spy. The people in the crowd believe he is guilty and therefore will have to endure the punishment of death. Lucie and Jarvis Lorry are called to the court to testify against him. It is ironic how these two individuals are providing evidence that could doom Darnay when they were the ones who recalled Dr. Manette back to life. The irony grows as Charles Darnay falls in love with Lucie as she offers proof against him. At the trial, Sydney Carton helps Darnay escape the death sentence, and he is recalled to life.

Sydney Carton is the character that is most involved with the theme of resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities. Carton led a miserable life, relying mainly on alcohol. To be recalled to life, he sacrifices his existence for Charles Darnay. In this, the theme of love is reinforced when it is made clear to the reader how Sydney Carton truly feels. His love for Lucie was so great that he was willing to forfeit his life to save her husband. The resurrection of Sydney Carton happens when he recognizes that by dying he is saving a loved one of Lucie. He receives the satisfaction that he has finally done something right and will no longer live a wasted life. Therefore, by dying and saving Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton is recalled to life through Lucie.

Throughout the book, resurrection and being recalled to life is the most important theme. By observing a few characters, the reader understands why they are recalled to life and why they would do so much for each other. This shows how everything has a specific purpose in the novel. The classic themes of love, hate, good vs. evil, and redemption are all intertwined in the theme recalled to life, uniting and unifying the plot of the novel, capturing and adding to the success of A Tale of Two Cities.

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