Resurrection In A Tale Of Two Cities

1310 words - 5 pages

Resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities

   Resurrection is a powerful theme found throughout the plot of A

Tale of Two Cities.  Many of the characters in the novel are involved with

the intertwining themes of love, redemption, and good versus evil.  The

theme of resurrection involves certain aspects of all of these themes and

brings the story together.


      Dr. Manette is the first person to experience resurrection in A

Tale of Two Cities.  He is taken away from his pregnant wife and then

imprisoned for eighteen very long years.  Over the years, his condition

deteriorates until he forgets his real name and mindlessly cobbles shoes to

pass the time.  In "Book the First", he is released by the French

government and then put in the care of Monsieur Defarge.  He is suddenly

"recalled to life"(19, 35).   However, his rebirth has just begun and does

not become complete until he is reunited with his daughter; Lucy Manette.


      In "Book the Second; The Golden Thread," the resurrection theme

appears several times.  At the start of this book, Charles Darnay is on

trial for treason in England.  He has been traveling back and forth between

France and England and is thought to be a spy.  The people in the crowd are

sure that he will be found guilty, the punishment for this crime being

death.  Darnay is saved by the ingeniousness of Sydney Carton, and he too

is suddenly resurrected or "recalled to life".


      In both "Book the Second" and "Book the Third," the reader gets

different perspectives of the resurrection theme. Jerry Cruncher is a

body-snatcher and he refers to his late night activities as though it is an

honest trade.  His son knows of his father's nocturnal activities and

expresses his desire to follow in his fathers footsteps: "Oh, Father, I

should so like to be a resurrection-man when I'm quite growed up!" (166).

This parodies the resurrection theme because it is a simple physical

resurrection of corpses from the graveyard with seemingly little meaning.

The reader later realizes the significance of the activities of the

resurrection-man in "Book the Third."


      In the battle of good versus evil in A Tale of Two Cities, good

tends to resurrect or be resurrected, while the forces of evil mimic or

parody the resurrection theme.  This is shown twice in the novel.  Old

Foulon, the evil French aristocrat, fakes his own death so that he will not

be slaughtered by the revolution.  He is found later, alive, and is

murdered anyway.  This pattern of false death and false resurrection is

also followed by Roger Cly.  He too is evil, faking his death and being

"reborn" as a spy again in a different country.


      In "Book the Third," the resurrection theme plays a pivotal role in

the development of the plot.  Miss Pross recognizes the spy...

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