How does Dickens co-relate love and war in his 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.


How does Dickens co-relate love and war in his A Tale of Two Cities? 

Introduction: The Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a remarkable work by the Victorian novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870). It is a historical novel set against the background of the French Revolution. The novelist emphasizes multiple social issues. These are the class struggle, the resurgence, the family, the light and the darkness, especially the emphasis on love and war. Through the horrors of the revolutionaries, he has highlighted a strong connection between love and war. 

Critical views on co-related love and war: According to the critics, love means not only attraction to something or someone but also sacrifice and responsibility; war means not only destruction but also rebirth and regeneration. In this novel, Dickens presents the relationship between love and war particularly. 

Love is a source of psychological war: Sydney Carton is the model of psychological war. He is one of the sacrificing characters in the history of English literature. Being failure to build up a love affair with Lucie, he feels discomfort in his mind. It increases psychological conflict in his inner mind. He thinks that he can never improve his current condition.

Observing Cartons condition, Lucie assures him that he has more possibility to improve his dignity in his life. Lucie adds that she has enough sympathy for Carton, but she cannot love him because she likes Charles Darnay as her life partner. Hearing Lucie’s statement, a psychological battle happens in his mind. Then he commits: although he will not find Lucie as his life partner, he will always try to keep her happy and always be ready to make any kind of sacrifice for Lucie. Carton declares;

            I would embrace any sacrifices for you and for those dear to you.

Love, the source of revenge: Marquis Evremonde is a bloodthirsty, cruel, immoral person who has no sympathy for the poor. He kills Gaspards run-over child on his way back from Monseigneur’s party and throws gold coins as the value of the child. By this cruel act, Gaspard became more revengeful, and that night, he killed Marquis as revenge for killing his child. And he does it only out of love for his child. So, love and war are related.

Result of love and war: Peace and happiness are the fruits of love and sacrifice. They are the eternal aspirations of humanity. On the other hand, the people of a country always want good governance instead of cruel rule. The French Revolution took place with the aim of establishing freedom, equality, and brotherhood among the countrymen. Its supreme purpose was to establish happiness and peace among the people of the state thats why Love and war are co-related.

Love and war are symbols of destroyer and preserver: In the novel, Dickens mentions that love is a symbol of resurrection and transformation, and war is the symbol of destruction and Termination. He has demonstrated love as a symbol of resurrection and transformation through some characters like Dr. Manette, Sidney Carton, and Charles Darnay. Dr Manette is physically and mentally resurrected due to the genuine love of his daughter, Lucy.

Besides, Charles Darneys life is saved due to love, and Sidney Cartons life is destroyed.   On the other hand, war destroys a country, including countrymen, property, ruling system, etc.  But After ending the war, a new regeneration. For example, the French Revolution led to the rebirth of France. Thus, love and war are, at the same time, preservers and destroyers.

Love and war bring self-satisfaction: After knowing Draneys death order within the next twenty-four hours, Carton saves his life at the cost of his life.  Carton imagines if he saves Darnay’s life, sacrificing his life, Dr Manatte and Jarvis Larry will get an opportunity to live a happy and healthy life.

After his death, Lucy and Draney will live happily in peace with their child, and they will always remember his name. He foreshadows that One day, France will be free from all kinds of evils and full of intelligent people. He says-

“I see a beautiful city and brilliant people rising from this abyss…..”

He imagines that his sacrifice and struggle for love will take place in the hearts of the new generation. And this imagination brings emotional and spiritual satisfaction to the carton. Thus, the novelist shows that love and war are interrelated.

In Conclusion, it is proved that in the novel A Tale of Two Cities”, love and war are co-related. We know that the outcome of the war is not only destruction but also rebirth or reproduction of somebody or something, while selfless love brings Self-purification and resurrection. So, both war and love are interrelated.