Examine the theme of resurrection as depicted in “A Tale of Two Cities”

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A Tale of Two Cities is a notable literary work by Charles Dickens. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of A Tale of Two Cities.


Examine the theme of Resurrection as depicted in “A Tale of Two Cities”.

The term resurrection stands for the action or fact of regeneration or being resurrected. The novel “A Tale of Two Cities” (1859), composed by the well-famous novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870), displayed the central theme of Resurrection through a selfless love story. Dickens has glorified the theme of the Resurrection from various points of view.

The Resurrection of Characters: Dickens is one of the greatest masters of the art of characterization. In the novel, he shows the central theme of Resurrection through some characters such as Dr. Manette, Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay, and Jerry Cruncher. Dr. Manette is resurrected physically and mentally after the release from his long eighteen years of imprisonment. Mr. Lorry’s message “Recalled to life” refers to the new start of life to swipe away from his past life. After a deep love and affectionate care by Lucie, Dr. Manette has converted his life as a physician. Besides, The novel “A Tale of Two Cities” discusses the supreme Resurrection of Sydney Carton. His noble sacrifice of life for Lucie and humanity is really praiseworthy.

“I would embrace any sacrifice for you and those dear to you.”

Another minor but essential resurrected character is Jerry Cruncher. In the initial part of the novel, we see that Jerry stole the dead bodies from the grave and sold them to the scientists. However, to see the brutality of revolutionism, he realized the cruelty of Revolution and rectified himself. Thus, he is resurrected and is the witness to the violence and evil of the Revolution.

The Resurrection of humanity: Sydney Carton is the embodiment of the Resurrection of humanity. He is one of the sacrificing characters in the history of English literature. Sydney Carton has sacrificed his life to save Darnay’s life and gives a final warning to all the oppressors of humanity. By the execution of Sydney, the novelist has sown the horror and meaninglessness of the Revolution. The aristocracy has shown the seed of violence and oppression, and the cruelty of revolutionism is the fruit of their seed. Everybody knows the proverb, “Money makes money”. Following this proverb, evil returns evil. According to Dickens, like Jesus Christ, Carton has resurrected himself for his love and humanity.

“Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruits according to its kind”.

Spiritual Resurrection: Being spiritually resurrected, Carton has decided to sacrifice his life. After his execution, he is alive in the mind of Lucie and all humanity. He is a Christ-like figure. Christ was crucified to save humanity. Similarly, in the novel, we have witnessed another sacrifice for the sake of love and humanity from Sydney Carton.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;

It is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.”

Social and political Resurrection: “A Tale of Two Cities” emphasizes the dream of a healthy society and the political wind of France. Sydney declares that after someday France will recover its horror and oppression and that time is not far away. Thus, France will be resurrected through love and sacrifice, not through the Revolution. Sydney’s last vision is just for a sound social and political France.

The Resurrection of France: A Tale of Two Cities refers to the two cities of England and France, London and Paris. At the end of the novel, Dickens has displayed the Resurrection of France. It is possible by eradicating all the evils and fears that build the future of France through love and sacrifice. The following lines are a fine example of revived France.

“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and in their struggles to be truly face, in their triumphs and defeats through long years to come.”

In short, In light of the above discussion, it is clear the novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities‘ is packed with the theme of Resurrection. Through the theme of resurrections, Dickens has asserted the futility of the Revolution.