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Sydney Carton: Another Jesus Christ? Essay

780 words - 4 pages

Beautiful is an understatement regarding the structure and complexion of The Tale of Two Cities. The two cities are respectively in France and England. The book starts in England but then moves to France where the revolution, which impacts both countries, is on the verge of commencing. The passage happens towards the end of the novel, where the revolution has come about and the main characters are tangled in the middle of it with the imprisonment of Charles Darnay. Darnay is hit with the death penalty but Sydney Carton comes to the rescue and replaces himself with Charles Darnay and has decided to sacrifice himself for Lucie, his one true love. In the passage from book three, chapter fifteen, pages 498-499, Charles Dickens utilizes imagery and biblical allusions to express the symbolic significance of Sydney Carton’s death in which he is seen as a Christ-figure in his self-sacrifice.
Dickens uses a variety of biblical allusions, imagery, personification, and foreshadowing in order to develop the picture of Carton’s symbolic representation. The use of these techniques to different extents helps develop that image and it also helps gain a deeper understanding and feeling for what is going on in this specific scene with Sydney Carton. The use of imagery, such as when describing the setting of the scene, “The two stand in the fast-thinning throng of victims, but they speak as if they were alone” (Dickens 498), helps describe the images of the two characters standing in a thinning crowd of people talking to each other as if no one was around them. Similarly, Dickens uses personification and foreshadowing in a common manner in order to describe and layout the setting of the scene. Further elements including juxtaposition and duality are used by Dickens to add to the setting but with a far greater impact because it adds more detail and specificity to the scene. Juxtaposition is used effectively when describing the separation between the unnamed lady and Carton, “…nothing worse than a sweet, bright constancy is in the patient face” (Dickens 498). Here, the contrast amongst the words “worse” and “sweet, bright constancy” add more details to the passage. By establishing the setting, he then, through the use of biblical allusions, creates a...

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