Tale of Two Citites Essay

Submitted By Tatianamf
Words: 726
Pages: 3

Tatiana Fors
Period 2
9/12/13
A Tale of Two Cities Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities displays the lasting effects a prison can cause, bet it literal or metaphorical, but also how salvation can be found. Carton, Dr.Mannette, Darnay, and Madame Defarge all showcase these effects, and the way to discovering redemption. There is a common theme among the characters who escape from their prisons and break their manacles- a key. It is a simple, yet very powerful concept- love. When we first encounter Carton, he has created a prison from his despair and self pity. He is referred to as a jackal, “idlest and most uncompromising of men” (Dickens 28), drowning his sorrows at the bottom of his glass. As he comes across Darnay, he becomes distraught, haunted with thoughts of the man he could have been and the life he could be living. As his love for Lucie grows, he is reborn as a new man. When he takes Darnay’s place in The Bastille he is freed from the thoughts of the man he could have been and instead becomes that man. He at last achieves inner peace as he near his end, knowing that he not only saved the life of Darnay, but ensured the happiness of the woman he loved for the rest of her life. He approaches his death with the ultimate grace with these final words “It is a far, far better thing I do now than I have ever done ; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known” (Dickens 352). Dr. Mannette is imprisoned in The Bastille for eighteen long, unforgiving years, but the memories that haunt him remain his prison for years to come. When Mr. Lorry and Lucie find Dr. Mannette, he is rambling about nonsense and referring to himself as “One Hundred and Five, North Tower”, his prison cell. There is an instant change in him as he sees Lucie and she treats him with love and kindness. “His cold white head mingled with her radiant hair, which warmed and lighted it as though it were the light of Freedom shining on him” (Dickens 41). Through Lucie’s love and compassion, he is reborn as a respectable man of repute. Though occasionally relapsing when confronted with memories of The Bastuille, he becomes a strong, reliable father for Lucie. All he desires now is Lucie’s happiness, which he goes to great lengths to preserve. Through this pure, kind love, he is redeemed from the prison that had him in chains for so many years. Darnay is caged in The Bastille, a real, tangible cell. There he stays for over a year, as hope for his release begins to fade. When it proves certain he will be executed, it seems…