The resurrection is a powerful theme in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. It is present in both the main plotline and in many of the subplots, serving to drive the story forward and to provide hope in the midst of despair.
In the main plotline, resurrection takes on a literal meaning as characters are brought back from the dead. This is most notably seen in the case of Lucie Manette, who is resurrected from her grief-stricken state by her husband, Dr. Alexandre Manette.
While Lucie’s resurrection is literal, other characters experience more figurative resurrections. For instance, Jerry Cruncher undergoes a transformation after he begins working for Tellson’s Bank. Prior to this, he was a thieving, dishonest man. However, after he begins working at the bank, he turns over a new leaf and becomes an upstanding citizen.
The theme of resurrection is also present in the subplots of A Tale of Two Cities. One example is when Charles Darnay is on trial for his life. It is only through the testimony of two witnesses – Dr. Manette and Jerry Cruncher – that he is ultimately acquitted. This event serves as a symbol of hope and rebirth, showing that even in the darkest of times, there is always the potential for change and new beginnings.
Ultimately, the theme of resurrection is one of hope. In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens shows that even in the midst of great suffering, there is always the possibility for change and new life. This message is one that continues to resonate with readers today.
Charles Dickens employs a wide range of themes in A Tale of Two Cities, including vengeance, revolution, fate, imprisonment, and more. These are extremely significant issues that were important aspects of this novel, but resurrection was the major theme apart from the obvious one which is revolution.
The reason I picked rebirth over revolution is because it applies to situations outside of this book’s context (though Dickens made some very excellent points about mob mentality). It’s also worth noting that the idea of a second chance and sacrifice are closely linked to rebirth.
A Tale of Two Cities is not simply a story about the French Revolution, but it is a story about hope, and how no matter how dark and cold the world may seem, there is always the potential for change, for something new to be born.
Resurrection is defined as “the return of something to life after a period of inactivity or death”. In A Tale of Two Cities, this word takes on a much deeper meaning. It is not just simply referring to physical resurrection, although that does play a role, but it is also talking about the idea of rebirth, or starting anew.
The idea of resurrection is also seen in the character of Sydney Carton. A drunken lawyer, who seems to have given up on life, finds new purpose when he falls in love with Lucie Manette. He sacrifices his own happiness for hers, and in doing so, finds himself again. He comes to see that there is more to life than just what is happening in the moment, and that his actions have consequences. This newfound sense of purpose leads him to make the ultimate sacrifice, which ultimately saves her life.
While A Tale of Two Cities is set during the French Revolution, the themes are still relevant today. We live in a world that is full of violence and hatred, but there is always hope for change. No matter how dark and cold the world may seem, there is always the potential for something new to be born. This is the message that Dickens was trying to convey, and it is a message that is just as relevant today as it was over 150 years ago.
The phrase “restored to life” is the first note in Dickens’s plot, introducing Dr. Manette’s release from the Bastille after 18 years of solitary confinement and beginning the resurrection theme. Charles Darnay’s execution sentence leads straight to the novel’s conclusion, as does Dr. Manette’s release from prison following 18 years of isolation. Cruncher’s grave robbery demonstrates vividly how one can resurrect people: he literally brings them back to life.
Years after his graveyard expedition, Cruncher informs Sydney Carton that Cly’s coffin was only filled with stones and dirt. This information allows Carton to force John Barsad, Cly’s business partner, into a plot to save Charles Darnay’s life. Another significant example of resurrection is when Dr. Manette regains confidence in himself and takes charge of the group. Dr. Manette overcomes his former existence and has a rebirth-like experience.
A Tale of Two Cities is a book about hope, rebirth, and sacrifice. The theme of resurrection is present throughout A Tale of Two Cities. One example of resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities is when Dr. Manette is released from the Bastille after being imprisoned for 18 years. He is finally able to be reunited with his long-lost daughter, Lucie. This is a moment of great joy and hope, as they have both been through so much hardship and pain.
Another example of resurrection occurs when Sydney Carton steps in to take Charles Darnay’s place at the guillotine. Even though he knows he will die, he does it anyway because he loves Lucie and knows that she will be much happier with Darnay. In the end, it is Sydney’s selfless act of love that brings about the ultimate resurrection: the restoration of the Darnay family.
However, his death is not mentioned in the book because Dicken regarded poetic justice, as in the case of the villains, as a divine reward. When Carton decides to sacrifice himself by sacrificing himself on the guillotine rather than Darnay, he says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” This idea of rebirth appears earlier in Carton’s prediction when he imagines a son being born to Lucie and Darnay that would be named after him. As a result , he will symbolically be reborn through their child. This vision has another goal as well.
It cements his resolve to save Darnay’s life, since he knows that in doing so, he will also be ensuring the life of this child who has not yet been born. While A Tale of Two Cities is largely a story about the French Revolution, Charles Dickens also weaves in the theme of resurrection. This is most prominently seen in the character of Sydney Carton. A drunken lawyer with no prospects, Carton seems like he is beyond redemption.
However, he finds new purpose when he falls in love with Lucie Manette and realizes that he can use his talents to save her husband, Charles Darnay, from execution. Though he himself is ultimately executed, his selfless act ensures that the Manettes will have a happy future. In this way, Carton is reborn as a selfless and heroic figure.
This theme of resurrection is also seen in the character of Jerry Cruncher. A seemingly simpleminded man, Jerry is actually quite cunning and resourceful. He uses his wits to help Solomon Pross, who has been unjustly accused of being a spy. Jerry manages to get Pross out of prison and helps him escape from France. In doing so, he risks his own life but ultimately saves Pross from certain death. This act of heroism reveals a different side to Jerry and helps him break free from his criminal past.
The theme of resurrection is also evident in the relationships between characters. For instance, after years of estrangement, Dr. Manette is finally reunited with his long-lost daughter, Lucie. This reunion is a moment of rebirth for both characters as they finally have a chance to start anew.
Similarly, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton forge a close bond after realizing that they are doppelgangers. This friendship is reborn from their shared love for Lucie and their mutual understanding of each other’s pain.
In A Tale of Two Cities, the theme of resurrection serves as a reminder that hope always exists, even in the darkest of times. Dickens shows that even the most broken of people can find redemption and that second chances are always possible. Through the characters of Sydney Carton, Jerry Cruncher, and Dr. Manette, Dickens demonstrates the transformative power of love and sacrifice.
In a time of great turmoil, these acts of kindness and selflessness provide a ray of hope that things can get better. Ultimately, the theme of resurrection is a hopeful one, showing that even in the midst of death and destruction, life always finds a way to go on.