A Tale Of Two Cities (Theme Of Ressurection) Essay, Research Paper
Reflection of Theme of Resurrection
In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens uses a variety of themes,
including, revenge, revolution, fate, imprisonment and more. Though
these are very important themes, and were integral elements of this
novel, resurrection served as the main theme aside from the obvious one
which is revolution. The reason I chose resurrection instead of
revolution, is because it is applicable outside of this novels setting
(though Dickens made some very good points about mob-mentality). It is
also important to note that the theme of a second chance, and sacrifice
are closely tied into resurrection.
The phrase “recalled to life” sounds the first note in the theme of
resurrection with Dr. Manette’s release from the Bastille after 18
years of solitary confinement, and sets Dickens’ plot in motion. The
secret papers left in Manette’s cell lead directly to the novel’s
climax, Charles Darnay’s sentence to die.
Cruncher’s grave robbing graphically illustrates the theme of
resurrection: he literally raises people from the dead. One of the
plot’s biggest surprises is based on Cruncher’s uunsuccesful attempt to
unearthed the body of Roger Cly, the spy who testified with John Barsad
against Charles Darnay. In France, years after his graveyard
expedition, Cruncher discloses that Cly’s coffin contained only stones
and dirt. This information enables Sydney Carton to force John Barsad,
Cly’s partner, into a plot to save Charles Darnay’s life.
Another important, but easily overlooked example of resurrection is
when Dr. Manette grows confidence in himself and becomes the leader of
the group. Dr. Manette triumphs over his past life and has a sort of
The best example of resurrection in the entire book, is also partly
ironic in that Sydney Carton must die for this resurrection to take
place, when he is executed on the guillotine in Paris. However, his
death is not in the book as Dicken’s idea of poetic justice, as in the
case of the villains, but rather as a divine reward. This is displayed
when Carton decides to sacrifice himself by dying on the guillotine
instead of Darnay, with “I am the Resurrection and the life.” This
theme of resurrection appears earlier on with Carton’s prophecy, where
he envisions a son to be born to Lucie and Darnay, a son who will bear
Carton’s name. Thus he will symbolically be reborn through Lucie and
Darnay’s child. This vision serves another purpose, though. In the
early parts of the novel, Lucie and Darnay have a son, who dies when he
is a very young child. This happens because the child was born in
France instead of England, and if the DarnayCarton family is to
survive into the future, they need a son to bear their name. But much
more importantly, this second son will be born free of the aristocratic
domination that has almost destroyed his father, Darnay’s, life. So
this is how the children of Lucie and Darnay will live as English
citizens free of any association with France and its violent past.
Also; Carton will never truly die because in his death, he will have
resurrected his own life, giving it purpose and meaning.
Themes in novels generally come from the authors personal life, and
we probably don’t know why Dicken’s was so pre-occupied with it, but it
is none the less a very predominate method used in Dickens’ writing.
Even if we don’t know why the author chose the theme of resurrection,
it certainly added some spice to the novel, and was interwoven with
great craftmanship into the novel’s plot.