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Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities
During a time of lost hope, death and war, the `golden thread', Lucie Manette plays the roll of a heroine doing everything she can to make sure the important people in her life are loved. Lucie provides not only warmth toward her father, Dr. Manette, but also towards the man that yearns for Lucie's love; Sydney Carton. Despite all the negativity that surrounds Lucie and her loved ones, she doesn't fail to lead her father and Carton to rebirth.
Unlike the process of actual birth, rebirth is associated with rejuvenation. Rebirth is a second or new birth and in the case of A Tale of Two Cities it is deserved. Rebirth is portrayed as nothing close to the literal meaning of birth at all. Charles Dickens makes it obvious that Dr. Manette and Carton both deserve a second chance by showing that they both really are good people. In chapter 19, Dr. Manette earns rebirth by gaining the strength to mentally and literally walk away from the negative attitude that is associated with his shoemaking bench and his past times. Carton shows that he deserves rebirth in chapter 13 by proving that he is a good and caring person when he tells Lucie that even though he craves her love, all he wants is for her to be happy.
After Dr. Manette's imprisonment in the Bastille for 18 years, the only thing he willingly says is `105 north tower` and is seemingly hypnotized by his shoemaking bench. This is where Dickens lets the reader know that Dr. Manette's imprisonment drives him insane. When Dr. Manette is rescued by Defarge and brought to his `long lost' daughter, rebirth does not take place immediately, as the doctor continues to repeat things to himself. In chapter 5, Lucie is portrayed as a caring character simply by the description given of her, as well as others reactions to her. "...His eyes rested on a short, slight, pretty figure, a quantity of golden hair [and] a pair of blue eyes that met his own." From simply the description given of Lucie, she can be recognized as a caring person. Lorry's reaction to Lucie also strengthens Lucie's caring glow.
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Just as Lucie did with her father, Lucie will try and do all she can to help her dear friend Carton. In chapter 13 when Carton stops at the Manette's house, he has a conversation with Lucie in which he tells her how he feels about himself. At the peak of this conversation, Lucie says "can I not recall you...to a better course? Can I in no way repay your confidence?" This makes it known that Lucie will be the one to give Carton a second chance. Lucie does in fact use her love and sympathy to lead Carton to rebirth and Dickens later shows the effects Lucie has had on Carton. "[Carton] was so unlike what he had ever shown himself to be, and it was so sad to think how much he had thrown away..." This a totally new tone that is shown by Carton, whereas from the start of the book to the introduction of Lucie and his conversation, he was described as a drunk nobody that obviously thought nothing of himself. In chapter four of book the first Darnay comments to Carton "I think you have been drinking, Mr. Carton." To this, Carton responds " Think? You know I have been drinking. I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth and no man on earth cares for me." During chapter 13 where Lucie says to Carton "I entreated you to believe again and again, most fervently, with all my heart, was capable of better things, Mr. Carton!" Lucie has saved Carton by letting him know that she believed in him.
Both Dr. Manette and Sydney Carton have been saved by the impact of Lucie's unfailing care. Lucie saves her father by simply caring for him and being a friend, and she also saves Sydney Cartons life by believing in him and letting him know that he meant more than he thought. The characters in A Tale of Two Cities obviously play predominant roles in each other's lives, and resurrection, or rebirth is one of the main themes in this novel. Dickens uses the power of love to oppose war that is surrounding all of France and England. Resurrection was a very clever theme for Dickens to use because if the characters in A Tale of Two Cities couldn't be recalled back to life, they would simply die off.