Tuesday, January 14, 2020

“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens Essay

Injustice is probably one of the oldest forms of hate known to man. Injustice can be found anywhere and in all forms of life. One of the most well known forms of injustice is slavery. Men and women of all ages and races suffer under slavery still to this day. Romania, for example, has been home to the unfortunate youth who are sold as prostitutes by their own parents! We all know that this is wrong, but society has driven us to not considering this as slavery, just cruelty. Obviously slavery is unjust, but some people to this date still do not know this because of the way they were brought up. However, what was once justified can, upon closer examination, be considered unjust. This was also the case during the revolution in France that began in 1789. Charles Dickens in â€Å"A Tale of Two Cities† described the many injustices that resulted from oppression in France. Injustice during the French Revolution affected everyone touched by it because the revolution claimed many victi ms on all sides. French peasants suffered, the aristocrats suffered, and innocent people suffered when the Revolution claims its victims. The unjust French government oppressed the poor peasants until they revolted in a bloody uprising. Everyone has a breaking point, and once it was reached, it was very hard to go back to a calm state. It was already bad that Marie Antoinette was using the tax money from the poor peasants to pay for her unnecessary dinner parties. Once Antoinette raised the taxes for that same purpose, it became unjust. This resulted in the beheading of Marie Antoinette. The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks on the billets; and the forehead of the woman who nursed her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again. Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth; and one tall joker so besmirched, his head more out of a long squalid bag of a night-cap than in it, scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine-lees–blood (Dickens 37). The wine, which symbolizes blood, was smeared everywhere. This showed how desperate the French were to find some nourishment, even if it meant slurping wine off the city streets. It was amazing how a calm day in France changed into first come first serve madness. Also, the raiding of the Bastille showed how little the peasants could tolerate before retaliating. In this massacre, the peasants overpowered the guards to set the famous landmark on fire. Next, the aristocrats suffer from the united peasants’ uncontrollable anger and violence. One may wonder how the aristocrats and the peasants suffered at the same time? Before the Revolution, the aristocrats had all the money and happiness, but as the Revolution progressed, this happiness gradually converted into fear. Once the peasants realized that they made up the majority, they took advantage of this. The peasants’ anger drove them to imprisoning and killing every rich person in sight. Innocent people were killed just because they were rich. Aristocrats had no chance of survival because they were hated most. Anyone who worked for the government or even believed in what it stood for lived in a life of fear. The Marquis from â€Å"A Tale of Two cities† was too ignorant to realize that his comments bothered the people. This angered the peasants along with how wealthy he was. But one didn’t have to be the Marquis to be punished. Any wealthy man returning to France could be considered an emigrant. For instance, Darnay, a wealthy man, was accused of being an emigrant, so he was immediately sent to prison. As you can see, even the wealthy had no protection under the crumbled government. Lastly, innocent people suffer as the Revolution burned out of control. Innocent people, which included relatives of those directly affected, suffer just because of the overgrown madness. A good example of this would be Lucie and her daughter Little Lucie. Madam Defarge (who was probably the biggest reactionary in the whole book) wanted the whole Manette family to suffer just because Darnay (the nephew of the Marquis) married into the family. Luckily, Little Lucie was not hurt, thanks to Mrs. Pross who put her own life on the line just to save the Manette family. Mrs. Pross, who lived a simple, quiet life, suffered partial deafness from the sound of a single gunshot. Many relatives of the aristocrats received death by the guillotine just because of their family ties and heritage. This was not right, but the people were blinded by their madness to even think about who they were killing and punishing. As illustrated, injustice during the French Revolution affected everyone touched by it because the Revolution claimed so many victims on all sides. Thousands of irreplaceable lives were taken during the time of the Revolution. There were no winners in the outcome of the revolution. These few years were some of the worst France had ever seen. The grindstone had a double handle, and turning at it madly were two men, whose faces, as their long hair flapped back when the whirlings of the grindstone brought their faces up, were more horrible and cruel than the visages of the wildest savages in their most barbarous disguises (Dickens 260). Is it ok to do unjust things in the name of justice? Will there ever be an end to injustice in the world we live in? At the rate we’re going, we may never reach the desired utopia that we dream of. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Essay In ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’ by Charles Dickens, there were two characters that have many different personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. But they also had a few things in common as well. These two characters are Sydney Carton and Madame Defarge. Although these two characters are alike, they both have different motives. Sydney Carton is a very strong and intelligent man. Fist, Carton presents himself as a drunk, lazy attorney, who feels as though his life has no meaning. Carton professes his love to Lucie Manette, but later on Carton becomes a changed man. He transform into a Christ-like figure. He begins to shoulder his way through life. His goals are positive and lead to his â€Å"recalled to life,† in book the first. Carton only wants to do what he knows will please Lucie, because he wants to die with the knowledge that one human being in the world who thought he was worth something and cared for him. Another character in the book named Stryver, describes Carton as â€Å"summons, no energy, and purpose.† Sydney also describes himself as, â€Å"like one who died young.† The only time in which Carton’s motivation kick in is towards the end, when he sacrifices his own life for Charles Darnay because he knows it is what would make Lucie Manette happy. The next character I will describe is Madame Defarge. Madame Defarge is completely motivated as well as Carton is, but Madame Defarge is also driven with revenge. It appears that Madame Defarge goals are only of vengeance. Madame Defarge is self-centered; app her goals are reflected around herself and her own revenge, which is shown when she says, â€Å"Tell the wind and fire where to stop; not me.† †A Tale of Two Cities† by Charles Dickens Essay Throughout A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens tells the story of several characters, all of who are developed continuously throughout the chapters. Several of the characters are greatly developed, some showing unpredictable sides to their personalities. Sydney Carton is a prime example of such a character, his delicate personality revealed when he declares his love for Lucie. He is not the only character in love with Lucie, however. Throughout Book Two, it is revealed that Stryver and Charles Darnay are also coveting Lucie. Darnay and Carton both announce their love for her, however Carton is the only one who goes directly to Lucie to tell her. In this passage, Carton is asking Lucie to not forget him and to remember that even when she is married and with kids, he will always be there for her to keep her happy. Carton’s declaration of his love for Lucie not only reveals his love and foreshadows his selfless, noble act in the later chapters, but in addition, Dickens’ use of language reveals that Sydney is no longer the â€Å"jackal,† but that he is in fact much more than that – a sensitive man with deep emotions. Dickens’ use of language in this passage brings to light the sincerity in Sydney Carton, changing the mood of the reader towards him, and the words that Dickens uses to make Carton express himself allows Carton to truly show his desire for Lucie. When Carton says, â€Å"for you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything,† Dickens is emphasizing the fact that Carton is dedicated to her. Throughout the passage, he continuously repeats phrases including the word you, such as when he states â€Å"I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you.† As a result of emphasizing Carton’s love for Lucie, Dickens creates an immense feeling of sympathy for the reader, as the dedication for Lucie is expressed so eloquently. The fact that Carton accepts this unrequited love by saying â€Å"I will relieve you of a visitor with whom I well know you have nothing in unison, and between whom and you there is an impassable space† creates even more comp assion for Carton because even though it is known that Lucie does not reciprocate his feelings, it is even more painful to watch as he simply walks away from the woman he loves. In addition to uncovering Carton’s true love for Lucie, Dickens uses irony to show the eloquent Carton that contrasts with the drunken Carton of the previous chapters. The chapter to which this passage belongs to is titled â€Å"The Fellow of No Delicacy,† which is ironic because although perhaps Carton was not delicate in the preceding chapters, in this passage he is nothing but eloquent and delicate. He remarks â€Å"try to hold me in your mind, at some quiet times, as ardent and sincere in this one thing,† a great example of his eloquence, which once again causes the reader to develop sympathy for him, since the language he is using so differs from his previous drunken language à ¯Ã‚ ¨203). Carton’s eloquence really shines through in this passage, even though it contrasts with the chapter title and Dickens creates sympathy and tenderness towards Sydney Carton. Because Sydney Carton is put down, not only by others but by himself as well, throughout the entire first half of the second book, when he declares his love for Lucie in such an unselfish and loving manner, it changes how Carton is viewed. Since Stryver takes all the credit for being successful even though Carton does all the work, it is written, â€Å"†¦although Sydney Carton would never be a lion, he was an amazingly good jackal† à ¯Ã‚ ¨116). Carton even describes himself to Darnay as â€Å"I am a disappointed drudge, sir I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me,† exhibiting Carton’s own self-pity and sadness for the world à ¯Ã‚ ¨113). However, with this passage, Sydney Carton causes any reader to fully disregard any judgments made for his character. Dickens previously portrayed him as this unfortunate man without anything to live for, but now it is revealed that Carton does indeed have someone to live for – Lucie and her happi ness. This passage causes all previous opinions about Sydney Carton to be discarded, as now Sydney Carton is no longer the jackal, but he has turned into the lion. In addition to revealing the compassionate and eloquent side of Sydney Carton, this passage is also a moment of foreshadowing for Carton’s noble and unselfish act of sacrificing himself for Lucie’s happiness. What may have seemed to be just talk about how much he loved Lucie turned out to be very, very real. In this passage, Carton declares to Lucie, â€Å"†¦think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you† à ¯Ã‚ ¨204). In his last moments, Carton visualizes Lucie feeling that â€Å"each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other’s soul, than I was in the souls of both,† referring to the respect and recognition that both Darnay and Lucie give to Carton à ¯Ã‚ ¨500). In this passage, Carton sets up his feelings for her, perhaps knowing that someday he would have the chance to occupy a special place in Lucie’s heart for a noble, heroic act. His â€Å"sacrifice for you and for thos e dear to you† embodies the Charles Dickens’ theme of love overpowering everything. With love, Carton was able to have the strength to sacrifice his life for the happiness of one person he cared about. With love, not jealousy, he was able to ask Darnay, â€Å"I wish we might be friends† à ¯Ã‚ ¨275). While Lucie does not reciprocate Carton’s love, she does defend him in front of Darnay, declaring â€Å"I would ask you†¦to be very generous with him always†¦I would ask you to believe that he has a heart he very, very seldom reveals, and that there are deep wounds in it† à ¯Ã‚ ¨278). By Carton declaring his love for Lucie and being wholly devoted to her, he is not only able to give Lucie a complete family, safe and protected in England, but he is also able to say that â€Å"it is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known,† clearly displaying that through his death, he is gaining all the love and admiration he never had before à ¯Ã‚ ¨500). Sydney Carton is my favorite character of the entire novel. His noble act despite the unrequited love between him and Lucie is such an honorable action, and the fact that he kept true to his word about giving his life â€Å"to keep a life you love beside you† makes him all the more noble à ¯Ã‚ ¨204). I thought that this passage was really a turning point for Sydney Carton’s character, since up to that point he had been very reserved and inarticulate, but when he went to speak to Lucie he became this eloquent speaker, driven by a strong love. From then on, we continue to see Carton’s character develop, creatively seeking out the apothecary for the substances in order for the plan to work. He acted without a moment’s hesitation, and that â€Å"[his face] was the peacefullest man’s face ever beheld there† shows that he had absolutely no regrets about his sacrifice à ¯Ã‚ ¨4à ¯Ã‚ ¹Ãƒ ¯Ã‚ ¹). To be that calm when he is about to be the newest victim of the Guillotine is a daunting task in itself, but to have someone who would sacrifice his or her life just for someone else’s happiness is beyond imaginable. Therefore, this passage sets the stage for Carton’s ultimate sacrifice, making Carton no longer a â€Å"disappointed drudge,† but a noble hero who goes from being a friend to Darnay and the Manettes to becoming their savior. There is no greater sacrifice that Carton could have made, and for it all to be because he loved Lucie unconditionally is a pretty incredible thing. â€Å"A Tale of Two Cities† by Charles Dickens Essay Loyalty and duty is one of the main themes in â€Å"A Tale of Two Cities†. Dickens examines this theme on many different levels, looking at both the loyalty and duty involved in the characters’ personal relationships and their loyalty to certain causes or beliefs. Many of the characters in the book make great sacrifices due to loyalty on a national level or personal level. Lucie Manette shows great dedication and loyalty to her father, Dr. Manette. Though she once believed she was an orphan, when Lucie meets with her father she is unable to part with him. She looks after him and as the â€Å"golden thread† is able to bring him back to health and lovingly take care of him thereafter. Miss Pross, her nursemaid tells Mr. Lorry how Lucie had to persevere and showed tremendous devotion when she was nursing her father back to health â€Å"He gets up in the dead of night†¦ She hurries to him and they go on together until her love and company have brought him to himself.† (p94) She even says she is willing to avert her marriage plans despite her love for Darnay because she loves her father and does not want to leave him â€Å"If my marriage were so arranged as that it would part us†¦ I should be more unhappy and self-reproachful now than I can tell you.† (p180) Lucie sees it her duty as a daughter to look after Dr. Manette and th roughout the book she demonstrates her loyalty to him â€Å"She had been true to her duties. She was truest to them in the season of trial, as all the quietly loyal and good always will be.† (p264) Lucie also shows loyalty when her husband, Darnay is imprisoned. Throughout his imprisonment, Lucie goes to stand outside the prison for two hours each day hoping that her husband will be able to see her. â€Å"In all weathers she waited†¦ she never missed a single day.† She is also loyal to Carton who professes his love for her. She makes sure that he is welcome in her home and that he is treated with respect despite his reputation and bad habits. She tells Darnay to â€Å"Remember how strong we are in our happiness, and how weak he is in his misery!†. At the end of the book Carton sacrifices his life in order to save Darnay. Lucie honours him even after his death by naming her son after him. Darnay himself shows loyalty to his old steward, Gabelle. Gabelle is imprisoned in France due to his relationship with the Evrà ¯Ã‚ ¿Ã‚ ½monde family and he so he writes to Darnay appealing to his â€Å"Justice, honour, and good name.† (p233) Darnay’s sense of duty and responsibility forbids him to turn his back on Gabelle or on his country. He is unaware of how dangerous it will be for him in Paris and idealistically, he even believes that he may be able to calm some of the violence. Eventually, like a ship may be drawn to the Loadstone Rock, he decides to go to Paris and fulfil what he believes is his duty. Miss Pross is brusque, tough, and fiercely loyal to Lucie, her â€Å"Ladybird†. Mr Lorry admires her for being so humble and for adoring Lucie so much that she would do anything for her. He talks of Miss Pross being â€Å"One of those unselfish creatures†¦ who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves,† (p92) At the beginning of the book, Miss Pross says that she will never go abroad â€Å"If it was ever intended that I should go across salt water, do you suppose Providence would have cast my lot in an island.† (p30). However, when Darnay goes secretly to France and Lucie hears of his imprisonment, Miss Pross accompanies her to France. She overcomes her fear of travelling out of loyalty to Lucie. At the end of the book, Miss Pross shows extreme courage and devotion to Lucie when she faces Madame Defarge to stop her discovering that Lucie is fleeing France. â€Å"I don’t care an English Twopence for myself. I know that the longer I keep you here, the greater hope there is for my Ladybird.† (p352) Miss Pross then starts a violent fight with Madame Defarge though she had â€Å"Never struck a blow in her life† and when a pistol accidentally is shot and kills Madame Defarge, Miss Pross is deafened for life. The fight between these two women shows how Miss Pross was stronger in her loyalty to Lucie than Madame Defarge was in her hatred- â€Å"love, always so much stronger than hate.† (p353) Miss Pross also remains loyal to her brother even though he had previously stolen all of her money and left her. She says that Solomon was â€Å"the one man worthy of Ladybird† (p92) and that he â€Å"Had the makings in him of one of the best and greatest men in his native country.† (p284) The revolutionaries in France prove that a new, fairer French republic can only be achieved with heavy and terrible costs. Personal loves and loyalties must be sacrificed for the good of the nation. When Darnay is arrested for the second time, the guard who seizes him reminds Manette that state interests should be held above personal loyalties. â€Å"If the Republic demands sacrifices from you, without doubt you as a good patriot will be glad to make them. The Republic goes before all.† (p281) Defarge shows courage and loyalty to the revolution when he tries to give a petition to the King â€Å"At the hazard of his life, darted out before the horses with the petition in his hand.† (p163) However, Madame Defarge thinks her husband weak when he pities Doctor Manette and does not want Darnay or Lucie to be killed. â€Å"If it depended on thee- which happily it does not- thou wouldst rescue this man even now.† (p326) Dr. Manette is loyal to his dutiful daughter Lucie. Even when Charles tells him that he is part of the French aristocratic family who caused his long imprisonment in the Bastille, he allows Charles to marry her. Though the shock of this discovery causes a relapse of his old mental state, when he recovers he accepts the marriage of Lucie and Charles for his daughter’s happiness. Mr. Lorry is extremely loyal to Tellson’s Bank. He agrees to go to the bank in Paris even in the midst of the revolution to make sure it is safe. â€Å"If I were not prepared to submit myself to a few inconveniences for the sake of Tellson’s, after all these years, who ought to be?† (p226) He describes himself as a man of business and even when he is almost eighty years old, he risks his safety and goes to Paris just to ensure the safety of the bank. Jerry Cruncher tells his wife what he thinks is her duty. â€Å"A mother’s first duty is to blow her boy out.† Mr. Cruncher does not like his wife praying because he thinks it affects his work as a grave-robber. â€Å"You have no more natural sense of duty than the bed of this here Themes river has of a pile,† (p156) However, he shows loyalty to Mr. Lorry and to the Manettes when he tells Carton that Roger Cly was not dead as he had not been in his grave when he went to dig it up. Cruncher puts his position at risk when he gives away his secret career. The French aristocracy show a lack of duty and loyalty. They treat the people of France extremely badly. When the Marquis St. Evrà ¯Ã‚ ¿Ã‚ ½monde’s coach runs over a child he thinks that tossing a coin to the father is enough compensation. Monseneigneur shows no loyalty to his family. When he wanted some money he married his sister to a rich man, treating her like an object rather than a sister. Dr. Manette sees how cruel the Evremendes were when he has to look after the dying lady whom they had taken from her husband on her wedding night. The sacrifice of Sydney Carton is an example of tremendous loyalty to Lucie and her family. Carton loves Lucie so much that he willingly gives up his life to save her husband, Charles Darnay. â€Å"For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything.† Carton single-handedly thinks up a plan and arranges that he replaces Darnay at the guillotine. Carton’s love for Lucie eventually makes him a better person, knowing that he will save Darnay radically changes him, â€Å"For the first time in many years, he had no strong drink.† (p324) Even Mr. Lorry notices the change in him â€Å"His manner was so fervent and inspiring,† (p330). For the first time Carton feels like his life may have a purpose and could be useful â€Å"Of little worth as life is when we misuse it,† (p322)Carton’s loyalty to Lucie is extremely important for him, in choosing to die for her, Carton not only enables their happiness but also ensures his spiritual rebirth. â€Å"It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.† (p361) We can see through all these characters how important loyalty and duty is. For some people like Carton and Miss Pross, it provides a purpose in life. For others such as Dr. Manette, Lucie and Darnay, duty is what they feel is the right thing to do. Overall, Dickens shows us that duty and loyalty can make you a better person and that sometimes sacrifice is necessary to achieve happiness or to produce something good.

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