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Theme Through Symbols Essay

759 words - 4 pages

Charles Dickens was a very successful writer who wrote many famous novels during his life. In 1859, he wrote A Tale of Two Cities, a novel about the French Revolution. Dickens’ usage of many symbols and metaphors throughout the novel is very affective. Through these symbols, Dickens successfully incorporates themes into the novel. Fate is a significant theme that he expresses by using the symbols of the shadow, knitting, and fountains.
One of the symbols Dickens uses to help portray the theme of Fate is the shadow. Dickens accurately describes the shadow in writing, “The shadow attendant on Madame Defarge and her party seemed then to fall, threatening and dark, on both the mother and the ...view middle of the document...

More ties between Fate and knitting are made later in the novel when Madame Defarge stops her work and asks, “‘is that his child?’ said Madame Defarge, stopping in her work for the first time, and pointing her knitting needle at little Lucie as if it were the finger of Fate” (207). This quote is ironic because Madame Defarge is actually acting as the Fates in Greek mythology. What the Fates do is spin everyone’s lives and cut the string when they are to die, just like Madame Defarge is ending many people’s lives by knitting their names on the hit list. Knitting even further connects the plotline to the theme of Fate.
Dickens repeatedly mentions fountains throughout the novel, which all symbolize Fate. He describes one fountain by saying, “The water of the fountain ran, the swift river ran, the day ran into evening, so much life in the city ran into death according to rule, time and tide waited for no man…” (85). The water symbolizes life, which is constantly changing because it is in a fountain. Fate is implied in saying that people die “according to rule” and time does not wait for anyone. Dickens describes two other fountains as he writes,...

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