A TALE OF TWO CITIES
A Tale of Two Cities has long been one of Charles Dickens' most favored books.
This book opens in the year 1775 by contrasting two cities: Paris, France and London,
England. Throughout this story various characters are "recalled to life", meaning that they
have had a new chance at life.
Dr. Manette is clearly mad after being in prison for eighteen years. When Lucie,
the Dr.'s daughter, and Mr. Lorry eventually nurse the doctor back to a healthy state and
out of his insane state they had "recalled him to life." Dr. Manette was nursed from an
insane state with no real life to a sane one with a very functional life. In doing this
Lucie and Mr. Lorry, in a way, gave Dr. Manette's life back to him or "recalled him to
Another instance in which someone is "recalled to life" involves Charles Darnay.
Charles Darnay is on trial for treason in England(Book 2, Ch.2-4). C.J Stryver and
Sydney Carton are representing Darnay in this trial. Sydney Carton saves Darnay from
death in this trial with his miraculous wits. Through this Darnay is given another chance
at life ,and therefore was "recalled to life."
The last and most significant instance of someone being "recalled to life" is found
in the last chapters of this book. Sydney Carton has recently switched places with his look
alike, Darnay, and is awaiting the guillotine. While Sydney awaits his death he thinks, "It
is a far, far better thing that I do, then I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go
to than I have ever known." Through these words Sydney recognizes that by sacrificing
his life for Darnay, a loved one of Lucie, he will be doing the best thing that he has ever
done and can do. Sydney is finally satisfied with himself, he is no longer a drunken fool,
but a hero that now can live or die with himself. By dying, and saving Darnay for Lucie,
Sydney Carton is "recalled to life."
Throughout this book "recalled to life" has been the most important theme.
Almost all of the main characters in this novel were "recalled to life." This theme was the
most important because it allowed us, the readers, to see the characters trates being used
by them and to understand how much a character would do for another. When Carton
represented Darnay on trial and saved his life we saw how smart Carton was. In the last
instance of "recalled to life" we saw how much Carton really felt for Lucie when he saved
Lucie's husbands life in return for his own. The theme "recalled to life" is seen throughout
this novel and should be recognized as one of the most important.