A Tale Of Two Cities Theme Of

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.


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