Theme of "Tale of Two Cities"

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Once true love conquers, emotions never thought to exist are relinquished from the reigns of a once emotionally detached soul. As the story commences, Carton is introduced in shabby clothes to complement his pessimistic attitude, but, he emerges from the trials that are to face him as a benevolent and grateful individual. Love, a strong factor that plays into the lives of many, can defeat the impossible.

Before Lucie Manette comes into his life, Sydney Carton feels life is pointless and he concludes that, “…the greatest desire I have is to forget that I belong to it.” Carton expects nothing from the people he believes are useless wandering souls and no one expects anymore from him. As life moves on, Carton faces an emotional obstacle, Lucie, whom he has fallen in love with. Although he learns how to continue his life without his one and only love, he mentions to her that, “[he] opened his heart to [her]; last of all the world.”

His heart has become soft and fragile, which shocks many of the onlookers.

Now, Carton’s quest for redemption begins to become a considerate and trustworthy man. First, a lesson in courtesy starts when Sydney treats Lucie as a princess and offers her the utmost respect. In addition, he truly gives up himself to comfort Lucie, by exchanging places with Charles Darnay, the man whom she has fallen in love with, in the prison to be beheaded by the infamous guillotine. Learning what is means to “give”, Sydney live the rest of his days with thankfulness and copes with his imminent death. Carton now identifies the benefits of his tragic loss as he states, “I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous, and happy.” Continuing with his last words, Sydney foretells the future of the Darnays and the choice that is made, “is a far, far better thing that [he did,] than [he had] ever done.”As the novel progressed, Carton’s behavior also developed. The unconditional love between him and Lucie allowed him to see truth and look at life at a perspective that did not just benefit him, but a perspective in that benefited the life of his lover.

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Signet Classic/Penguin Books USA, 1980.