A Tale of Two Cities: A Novel of Change
This novel, “A Tale of Two Cities”, becomes Charles Dickens’s transition masterpiece. From doing fairy tale-like stories, he began to write something different that provokes enlightenment on the people of his time. The setting is memorable as well.
He had chosen two interesting cities, London- a symbol of change and growth, and Paris- a center of art and literature. This novel‘s theme revolves on love and sacrifice.
Charles Dickens’s novel is introduced by a famous line that explains the era of war. It is about Lucie, who has not seen her father for many years and she did not know the real story.
The people who brought her up reveal the story of her father and that her father was not dead but only imprisoned. Lorry , as a friend, frees Dr. Manette. When Lucie is searching for her father, she met Darnay and falls in love with him just to find out he was the one behind the imprisonment of her father. Eventually the argument had been settled and they understand each others motives.
The novel really moved me especially on the part which Carton offers his life for the happiness of Lucie and Charles. Carton utters the most important words of his life:
“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”. (374)
It shows unconditional love; although unrealistic sometimes. I also love the plot which is redemption of life.
As I expected, this novel as an experiment of his new genre, meets the expectation of an innovation to literature. “A Tale of Two Cities” mentions human nature to love and commit some sacrifices.
The novel tells us to sacrifice for someone we love. It does not mean that we risk our lives for them; being a martyr is not advisable. We can sacrifice in little things like having time for our family, or make someone laugh to ease a burden. It is not difficult to extend help to your love one; it is a matter of endearment.
According to Viktor Frankl ,”Only to the extent that someone is living out this self transcendence of human existence is he truly human or does he become his true self. He becomes so, not by concerning himself with his self’s actualization, but by forgetting himself and giving himself, overlooking himself and focusing outward.”