Essay Theme of Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities

Essay Theme of Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities

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Resurrection is a common theme for stories. In order for someone or something to be resurrected, it must first be created and then dilapidated. The focus in A Tale of Two Cities is on the dilapidated and resurrection portion of this pattern. There are a myriad of examples in this novel of resurrection. Specific people, groups of people, and even France are all examples of resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities. The theme of resurrection applies to Sydney Carton and Dr. Manette in A Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens.
Both Dr. Manette’s and Sydney Carton’s needs for resurrection manifest themselves at the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities. Dr. Manette had been in the Bastille for 18 years, and he is still living like he is in prison. When M. Defarge brings Lucie to meet Dr. Manette for the first time, he says that he wants “to let a little light in here.” (XX) Dr. Manette is literally, as well as figuratively, living in the dark, this dark is inhuman. Another hint at the de-humanization of Dr. Manette is when Defarge asks Manette his name, he responds with his prison address: “One Hundred and Five, North Tower.” (XX) The reader knows this because Defarge can’t even see what’s going on due to the lack of light. Dr. Manette has little connection with the outside world. He is described as a “hopeless and lost creature” (XX) showing that he is not acting as a human being should. Dr. Manette’s resurrection is foreshadowed when Mr. Lorry dreams that he will “recall to life [refers to Dr. Manette].” (11) Sydney Carton is also in a dilapidated state at the start of A Tale of Two Cities. Sydney Carton is a hopeless drunkard, Mr. Stryver, his employer, has come to expect his employee to come to work drunk: “You have had you...


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...r. Manette are fully resurrected. Dr. Manette, who went to the Bastille for 18 years, now has the courage to return to prison to help Lucie’s husband, Charles Darnay. Dr. Manette knows that as the Bastille prisoner, he is something of a celebrity in Paris. He says, “I have a charmed life in this city [Paris]. I have been a Bastille prisoner” (XX) Dr. Manette speaks of his degradation as something preeminent. He is proud to have suffered at the hands of the upper class, and lived to tell the tale. This is wildly different from earlier in the novel when Dr. Manette didn’t ever even speak of his imprisonment. The incident that proves Dr. Manette is fully resurrected is when he goes back into the prison to rescue Darnay. Dr. Manette finds a job as “the inspection physician of three prisons” (XX) Dr. Manette does this to save Darnay, whom he knows is close to Lucie.

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