“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens is an artfully crafted tale that unabashedly tells the story of the injustice, the horror and the madness of the French Revolution. More than this, it is a story of one man’s redemption, one man who Dickens vividly portrays as being “a nobody”. This nobody had thrown away his life. “A Tale of Two Cities” is the tale of Sydney Carton and his full circle redemption.
The first impression we get of Sydney Carton is not a pleasant one. “[Sydney Carton] sat leaning back, with his torn gown half off him, his untidy wig put on just as it happened to light on his head after removal, his hands in his pockets, and his eyes on the ceiling as they had been all day. Something especially reckless in his demeanor…gave him a disreputable look.” (p. 57) From this description we get the impression that Carton is a slacker and that he doesn’t care about appearances. We also learn that he is a drunk. “ ‘You have had your bottle, I perceive, Sydney.’ ‘Two tonight, I think.’ ” (p.66) Sydney is trying to find the answers for his problems in the wrong places and he has begun to give up hope. “ He resorted to his pint of wine for consolation, drank it all in a few minutes and fell asleep on his arms, with his hair straggling over the table, and a long winding-sheet in the candle dripping down upon him.” (p. 64) Sydney Carton is in bad shape. He is an alcoholic, he is depressed and he has nothing going for him.
Before a chick is born, it must first break free of the shell that encases it. It only begins to chip once it realizes that breaking free is the only way to start a new life. In the same way Carton begins to take a serious look at who he is and what he has become. “ ‘Do you particularly like the man?’ [Sydney] muttered, at his own image…’There is nothing in you to like, you know that! Ah! Confound you! What a change you have made in yourself. A good for talking to a man, that he shows you what you might have been!’ ” (p. 64) It is at this point in the novel that Carton admits to himself that he is not satisfied with the path his life had taken. He want the ‘footsteps of change’ to enter his life. “ ‘I take them into mine!’ said Carton. ‘I ask no questions and make no stipulations.’ ” (p. 78) Carton is willing to accept anything that might come into his life. That is the first step on the path to redemption- realizing that you need change and then being ready to accept it.
The second pivotal moment in the hatching process is when the little bird inside finally makes its first hole in the shell, allowing the surrounding world a little glimpse of what’s inside. “[Carton] was shown upstairs and found...