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The Mind And The Body Essay

906 words - 4 pages

The nature of mind and body has been debated constantly, but the answer has always been present in our own minds. In Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, two extremely different characters, Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay, are presented, and much quarreling has arisen over their being representative of the clash of the mind and the body, and if so, which is which. Sydney Carton is symbolic of the mind and Charles Darnay of the body. The mind, Carton, and the body, Darnay, are one being who react to situations adversely; but where the body is physical, the mind is philosophical, and the mind gives life to the body.
The body can be still while the mind is in turmoil; however, where the mind delays, distracts, and debates, the body reacts. Prime examples of this are Carton and Darnay’s reactions to Lucie Manette and their ensuing acclamations of love for her. In contemplating the conversation to come with Doctor Manette, Darnay ponders decidedly upon how “He had loved Lucie Manette from the hour of his danger. He had never heard a sound so sweet and dear as the sound of her compassionate voice; he had never seen a face so tenderly beautiful, as hers…” (Dickens 126). Darnay knew instantly that he loved Lucie and approached her father with dignity, composure, and great respect to ask for her hand in marriage. On the same matter of love for Lucie, Carton constantly forced his love back into his mind until he could no longer ignore it and he burst in on Lucie one morning and exclaimed, “If it had been possible…that you could have returned the love of the man you see before you…he would have been conscious this day and hour, in spite of his happiness, that he would bring you to misery… I know very well that you can have no tenderness for me; [but] think now and then that there is a man who would give his life to keep a life you love beside you” (145-148). Carton continued to put off his affections until he could no longer keep the magnitude of his emotions inside, while Darnay was sure of his affections and calmly addressed them. Carton and Darnay acted as the mind that can repress thoughts and emotions and the body that is forced to handle things calmly and composedly.
The body deals with physicality and tangibility, whereas the mind deals with philosophy and emotions. When Darnay is locked away for the final time, “he had heard his condemnation. He fully comprehended that no personal influence could possibly save him, that he was...

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