A Tale Of Two Cities


One way you may approach Lucie Manette is as the central figure of
the novel. Think about the many ways she affects her fellow
characters. Although she is not responsible for liberating her
father, Dr. Manette, from the Bastille, Lucie is the agent who

restores his damaged psyche through unselfish love and devotion. She

maintains a calm, restful atmosphere in their Soho lodgings,

attracting suitors (Charles Darnay, Stryver, Sydney Carton) and

brightening the life of family friend Jarvis Lorry.


Home is Lucie's chosen territory, where she displays her fireside

virtues of tranquility, fidelity, and motherhood. It's as a symbol

of home that her centrality and influence are ...

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Lucie, her father, and Charles

Darnay. The two men share an ambiguous relationship. Because Lucie

loves Darnay, Dr. Manette must love him, too. Yet Darnay belongs to

the St. Evremonde family, cause of the doctor's long imprisonment,

and is thus subject to his undying curse. Apart from his ancestry,

Darnay poses the threat, by marrying Lucie, of replacing Dr. Manette

in her affections.


At the very end of the novel you'll find Lucie caught in a third

triangle--the struggle between Miss Pross and Madame Defarge. Miss

Pross, fighting for Lucie, is fighting above all for love. Her

triumph over Madame Defarge is a triumph over chaos and vengeance.


Let's move now from Lucie's influence on other characters to Lucie

herself. Sydney Carton, who loves Lucie devotedly, labels her a

"little golden doll." Carton means this ironically--he's hiding his

true feelings from Stryver--but some readers have taken his words at

face value. They see Lucie as a cardboard ...

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dignity. In

fulfilling his old promise to Lucie, Carton attains peace; those

watching see "the peacefullest man's face ever beheld" at the

guillotine. In a prophetic vision, the former "jackal" glimpses a

better world rising out of the ashes of revolution, and long life for

Lucie and her family--made possible by his sacrifice.


This argument also links Carton's death with Christian sacrifice and

love. When Carton makes his decision to die, the New Testament verse

beginning "I am the Resurrection and the Life" nearly becomes his

theme song. The words are repeated a last time at the moment Carton

dies. In what sense may we see Carton's dying in Darnay's place as

Christ-like? ...

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"A Tale Of Two Cities." Essayworld.com. January 3, 2007. Accessed November 29, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/A-Tale-Of-Two-Cities/58092.
"A Tale Of Two Cities." Essayworld.com. January 3, 2007. Accessed November 29, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/A-Tale-Of-Two-Cities/58092.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/3/2007 12:36:23 AM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 3391
Pages: 13

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