A tale of two cities

Essay by Lucas ForgetHigh School, 11th gradeB+, January 1996

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A Tale of Two Cities has long been one of Charles Dickens' most favored books.

This book opens in the year 1775 by contrasting two cities: Paris, France and London,

England. Throughout this story various characters are 'recalled to life', meaning that they

have had a new chance at life.

Dr. Manette is clearly mad after being in prison for eighteen years. When Lucie,

the Dr.'s daughter, and Mr. Lorry eventually nurse the doctor back to a healthy state and

out of his insane state they had 'recalled him to life.' Dr. Manette was nursed from an

insane state with no real life to a sane one with a very functional life. In doing this

Lucie and Mr. Lorry, in a way, gave Dr. Manette's life back to him or 'recalled him to


Another instance in which someone is 'recalled to life' involves Charles Darnay.

Charles Darnay is on trial for treason in England(Book 2, Ch.2-4).

C.J Stryver and

Sydney Carton are representing Darnay in this trial. Sydney Carton saves Darnay from

death in this trial with his miraculous wits. Through this Darnay is given another chance

at life ,and therefore was 'recalled to life.'

The last and most significant instance of someone being 'recalled to life' is found

in the last chapters of this book. Sydney Carton has recently switched places with his look

alike, Darnay, and is awaiting the guillotine. While Sydney awaits his death he thinks, 'It

is a far, far better thing that I do, then I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go

to than I have ever known.' Through these words Sydney recognizes that by sacrificing

his life for Darnay, a loved one of Lucie, he will be doing the best thing that he has...