Dickens' Use Of Sacrifice In A Tale Of Two Cities

1348 words - 6 pages

The French Revolution was a movement from 1789 to 1799 that brought an end to the monarchy, including many lives. Although A Tale of Two Cities was published in 1859, it was set before and during the French Revolution and had over 200 million copies sold. The author, Charles Dickens, is known for being an excellent writer and displays several themes in his writings. Sacrifice is an offering of an animal or human life or material possession to another person. Dickens develops the theme of sacrifice throughout the story by the events that occurred involving Dr. Manette, Mr. Defarge, and Sydney Carton.
Sacrificing yourself for another person shows how courageous and good-hearted a person must ...view middle of the document...

.He had announced himself by name and profession as having been for eighteen years a secret and unaccused prisoner in the Bastille” (209). By Dr. Manette announcing himself, this would help persuade the people to help get Darnay out of prison because they realize that he has been through this before and knows what it’s like to be in prison. Listing his name and profession would also help because Dr. Manette is a reputable doctor in France and has a high reputation there. Dr. Manette was sacrificing his name to try to save Darnay and get him released by persuading the people that Darnay is not in the wrong. Since Lucie had helped her father so much and helped him grow throughout his life, Dr. Manette thought he would try to repay her by getting her husband released from prison to ensure Lucie’s happiness.
Mr. Ernest Defarge was a man who loved his wife, Madame Defarge, but also loved and had much respect for the Manette family and would sacrifice almost anything for them. Mr. Defarge said to Madame Defarge, “Extermination is a good doctrine, my wife, in general, I say nothing against it. But this doctor has suffered much…” (263). In this passage, Mr. Defarge was sacrificing his marriage by arguing that Dr. Manette has suffered much pain and does not deserve to be exterminated. This shows Mr. Defarge is trying to reason with Madame Defarge and he cares enough for Doctor to not hurt him any worse. Dr. Manette has had many struggles in his life which include him being imprisoned for 18 years, losing his wife, losing his job as a doctor, and having to be kept in secret most of his lifetime. Madame Defarge wants to exterminate their entire family, not only Darnay, because Madame Defarge has always had a grudge against Lucie and her family and is obsessed with killing and is blood-thirsty. She also is very against aristocracy, Darnay’s side of the family, because she lost her siblings because of them. This is an example of sacrifice because Mr. Defarge is standing up for what he believes is right. He detested to her, “No! Not if to lift this glass would do it! But I would leave the matter there. I say, stop there” (264). Defarge was commanding to his wife to stop the killing at just Darnay and not the whole Manette family. Defarge really does not want Dr. Manette exterminated because he has a close relationship with him and believes he has done no wrong and has suffered enough in his life, and he is telling Madame Defarge. Defarge going against his wife shows he is willing to sacrifice anything to keep them alive and not wanting them to die. By doing this, Defarge was risking his marriage by standing up to his wife and saying enough is enough. Although Defarge and Carton...

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