Essay About Love and Hate in A Tale of Two Cities

Essay About Love and Hate in A Tale of Two Cities

Length: 1309 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Love and Hate in A Tale of Two Cities 

  Many have grown fond of the tale involving the noble, former French aristocrat, who had virtually unmatched (except maybe in books) good fortune. First, his life was saved by the pitiful testimony of a beautiful young woman. Anyone would gladly have married this beautiful too-good-to-be-true-woman he wedded. It is later seen, however, that this man should have married her even if she were ugly as sin. This was not the case though, and he married a beautiful woman, who had an admirer who was a dead ringer for her husband, was a loser, and would give his life to keep her from pain, all of which really comes in handy when her hubby is on his way to the guillotine. This is not the story of a man with multiple guardian angels, but rather that of a character in Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities. A skeptic could easily see this as an unbelievable, idealistic and overrated novel that is too far-fetched. An unbiased reader, however, can see that this is a story of love and hate, each making up the bare-bones of the novel so that one must look closely to see Dickens' biases, attempts at persuasion, and unbelievable plot-lines, some of which are spawned from Dickens' love and hate, and some of which love and hate are used to develop.

The more lifeless of the characters we are supposed to like--the Manettes, Darnay, Lorry-- play their parts in the idyllic fashion Dickens and like-minded readers want, a fashion made inflexible by circumstances and purposes. "Circumstances and purposes" refers in large part to Dickens' state of mind and objective. Dickens' intrusive, unusually editorial point of view, with references to "I" and deviations from narration for monologue, reveals the novel's slavery to the teachings of his morals--or perhaps his own slavery to the morals of his time and Protestantism. Therefore, can Lucie be any different from the supportive, wholly feminine wife and mother she is? Not if Dickens' is to stick to his obligation, or perhaps obstinate purpose, of moral teachings.

With that aside, what is to be said of Dickens' teaching, his presentation of love and hate? They both have one thing in common: the characters representing each are unmistakable at a mile away. The moment Lucie Manette is put before the reader's eyes, her

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Essay About Love and Hate in A Tale of Two Cities." 123HelpMe.com. 07 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=2891>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay About Love and Hate in A Tale of Two Cities

- Love and Hate in A Tale of Two Cities Many have grown fond of the tale involving the noble, former French aristocrat, who had virtually unmatched (except maybe in books) good fortune. First, his life was saved by the pitiful testimony of a beautiful young woman. Anyone would gladly have married this beautiful too-good-to-be-true-woman he wedded. It is later seen, however, that this man should have married her even if she were ugly as sin. This was not the case though, and he married a beautiful woman, who had an admirer who was a dead ringer for her husband, was a loser, and would give his life to keep her from pain, all of which really comes in handy when her hubby is on his way to...   [tags: free essay writer]

Free Essays
1309 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Sydney Carton in Charles Dickens’ "A Tale of Two Cities"

- Sydney Carton is the most memorable character in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, a story of redemption, resurrection, self-sacrifice change and love, all of these words have to do with the extreme transformation of. Sydney Carton had such great love for Lucie Mannette that evolves from a depressed loaner that can only attempt to substitute happiness with alcoholic indulgence to a loyal caring friend who makes the ultimate sacrifice for the ones he loves. In the beginning, Sydney Carton’s the character that everyone looks down upon....   [tags: Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities, ]

Research Papers
881 words (2.5 pages)

Free Essays - A Tale of Two Cities - Critical Analysis

- A Tale of Two Cities - Critical Analysis In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote the book A Tale of Two Cities. In A Tale, Dickens writes about the French Revolution, and relates the events in the lives of two families, one French and one English. In addition to writing about a very interesting fiction plot, Dickens also tied in a wide variety of important themes and sub plots that keep the reader interested as well as portraying very valuable lessons for us even today. He chose very archetypical characters for the book, all strengthening or portraying one of the themes....   [tags: Tale Two Cities Essays]

Free Essays
1155 words (3.3 pages)

A Tale of Two Cities Essay

- A Tale of Two Cities Essay Throughout history, the powers of love and hate have constantly been engaged in a battle for superiority. Time and time again, love has proven to be stronger than hate, and has been able to overcome all of the obstacles that have stood in the way from it reaching its goal. On certain occasions, though, hate has been a viable foe and defeated love when they have clashed. In the novel A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens presents several different power struggles between love and hate....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
668 words (1.9 pages)

Sacrifice for Love in a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Essay

- The French Revolution was a period between 1789 and 1799 when the lower class overthrew the aristocracy. A Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens in 1859 occurs during the French Revolution. In the desperate time of the French Revolution, especially in this novel, individuals were willing to make sacrifices for the love of their families, their safety, and their country. Dickens represents this throughout the novel. In A Tale of Two Cities, many sacrifices, such as Dr. Manette sacrificing his sanity to save Charles Darnay, Miss Pross sacrificing her hearing to keep Lucie safe, and Sydney Carton making the ultimate sacrifice by substituting himself for Darnay at the Guillotine, are ma...   [tags: french revolution, lower class]

Research Papers
978 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Les Miserables versus A Tale of Two Cities

- Both St. Francis and St. Albert offer a strong understanding of what charity mean. Likewise so do Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo. In Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, love presents itself as the underlying leitmotif. Through the life-changing exchange between Bienvenu and Valjean, to Syndey Carton willingly giving his life in place of Darnay, all the way to Lucy Manette and Valjean saving lives of others through their selflessness, Hugo and Dickens deliver the true meaning of love....   [tags: Hugo & Dickens deliver the true meaning of love]

Research Papers
1030 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Historical Context of A Tale of Two Cities

- A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is a story set in the year 1775 and through the turbulent time of the French Revolution. It is of people living in love and betrayal, murder and joy, peril and safety, hate and fondness, misery and happiness, gentle actions and ferocious crowds. The novel surrounds a drunken man, Sydney Carton, who performs a heroic deed for his beloved, Lucie Manette, while Monsieur and Madame Defarge, ruthless revolutionaries, seek revenge against the nobles of France....   [tags: Charles Dickens, French Revolution, Sydney Carton]

Research Papers
2559 words (7.3 pages)

Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities Essay

- The French Revolution can best be described by Dickens in the opening phrase of his novel A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” (Dickens 1). A Tale of Two Cities, written by Charles Dickens in 1859, takes place in London and Paris during the French Revolution. The book tells the story of a circle of people living and fighting during this dangerous time. These characters include Dr. Manette, a doctor and prisoner of the Bastille for eighteen years who is just reunited with his lovable daughter, Lucie, for the first time since his imprisonment....   [tags: French Revolution, Novel, Literary Analysis]

Research Papers
1265 words (3.6 pages)

A Tale of Two Cities Speech

- A Tale of Two Cities Speech "The storming of the Bastille…the death carts with their doomed human cargo…the swift drop of the guillotine blade-this is the French revolution that Charles Dickens vividly captures in his famous work "A Tale of two cities". With dramatic eloquence, he brings to life a time of terror and treason, a starving people rising in frenzy and the to overthrow a corrupt and decadent regime. With insight and compassion, he casts his novel of unforgettable scenes with unforgettable characters: the sinister Madame defarge, knitting her patterns of death, the gentle lucie manette, unswerving in her devotion to her broken father: the heroic Sydney Carton, wh...   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1495 words (4.3 pages)

A Tale Of Two Cities: Foreshadowing Essay

- Many famous writers use foreshadowing. An author needs to use different instances of foreshadowing. Charles Dickens was a great British author who used foreshadowing. A Tale of Two Cities, written by Charles Dickens, contains many examples of foreshadowing. One example of foreshadowing is Sydney Carton’s promise to Lucie that he will do anything for Lucy or any dear to Lucie. At the beginning of the novel when Stryver brought up to Carton his love for Lucie, “Sydney Carton drank the punch at a great rate, drank it by the bumpers, looking at his friend” (129)....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
549 words (1.6 pages)

Related Searches

tumbling blond locks, her bright blue eyes, her seventeen-year-old, slight, pretty (but not sexy!) figure and all, he knows that, not only will she not be a villainous, unlikable character, but she will be the epitome of the good, beautiful woman (and later housewife), the one Dickens thought every women should be. At this young woman's introduction with Mr. Lorry, she curtseys to him, and Dickens wastes no time in pointing out that "young ladies made curtseys in those days". The introductory scene climaxes at fair Lucie's fainting, one that, to some, puts her unflawed position into question, although to Dickens, it reinforces it.

At the other side of this moral lecture are the Defarges. Call Dickens a master for embodying qualities, but here are another flawless pair--flawlessly evil, and sentenced to evil from the moment we see Madame Defarge's "watchful eye that seldom seemed to look at anything, a large hand heavily ringed, a steady face, strong features, and great composure of manner", a stark contrast to the slight, fainting figure of Mada-- or rather, Miss Manette. To further turn us against good old Madame Defarge, Dickens has her using a toothpick publicly in her opening scene, an activity dainty Miss Manette wouldn't dream of. Finally, we mustn't forget the setting. Lucie may have been born in France, but she defected to England, and traveled from London to meet Mr. Lorry. Madame Defarge was a Frenchwoman, born and living amongst peasants who drank wine scooped off of mud. She probably was not taught Dickens' (and his primary English audience's) Protestant morals in her Catholic nation, and certainly did not manifest them.

In arguably the book's first touching scene (some say it's the one where Carton is on his way to the guillotine), Lucie goes through much trouble to coax her father from his insanity, laying her head on his shoulder, and trusting a man she had never met. When Madame Defarge sought vengeance for the cruel injustice committed against her kin, she looked to destroy not only the innocent descendent of the culprit, but his family-- an old man, a young woman, and a little girl. These two characters' love and hate are unconditional and total. Did this have to be so? Could not Madame Defarge have showed one bit of femininity, of human kindness? Could Lucie not have stolen a contemptuous glance at her persecutors? Not with Dickens at the helm. Lucie and Defarge are created with a conviction, and once Dickens' plot was laid, the blinders he put on his characters allowed only one route. Perhaps it was a primitive style, but modern characters are painted more realistically, with human weaknesses and more variability. Did it have to be so? Could Dickens have captured more readers, especially in the long run, if he had pursued more varying actions in his characters, as well as more humanness and believability? Does this point to Dickens as a flawed writer, with little imagination and ability?

Another factor that must be considered is our inability to criticize an English--or English-living--character, or to find a modicum of respectability in a French one, with two exceptions. One is the young woman who is beheaded just before Sydney Carton. She is the enemy of an enemy, she is going to be killed, and she allows Dickens to teach another moral using Sydney Carton. Why not have her happy to die for the benefit of her countrymen, while not trembling as she ascends to her death, thereby depriving the common enemy of a small victory? With the modern trend of political correctness and anti-racism, a Tale of Two Cities written today would never leave the word processor. Jerry Cruncher is about the most sinful of the English (aside from a spy but, remember, he defected to France), and he repents by the end, which counts for another moral from Dickens. In Dickens' time, racism was not regarded as it is today, and so if he wanted to use the French Revolution to send a message to the population, it was his right, but he may have taken this too far for some.

Today, Lucie Manette would by no means be taken seriously as a believable, even likable character. She persists in fainting at particularly stressful moments, but when her husband is before a heartless, bloodthirsty jury, she looks brave and strong just for him. In context, this was a screaming contradiction, but one that Dickens required to portray his Eve. It is much easier to believe Madame Defarge's hate than her opposition's love. Defarge's sister was raped and murdered mercilessly and her brother was killed by a pair heartless "noblemen". It is much easier to understand Defarge's taste for blood than the condition of Manette, who, after practicing as a competent doctor and acting normally for years, experiences a recurrence of his mental condition simply because his wonderful daughter has left for two weeks, although he has two dear friends nearby.

Charles Dickens has built an enduring story enjoyed by millions, which is loved by experts and critics today although it would be immediately butchered if written by a modern author. It is a love story loved by its creator, but wholly unbelievable. It is actually doomed by its own idealism and unrealistic characters. As a hate story, it is much more competent, although also using this for its own purposes. One can draw one's own conclusions and ideas from such a book, but facts are facts.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com