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Recalled to Life

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In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, the themes of rebirth and resurrection are intertwined throughout the course of events in the novel. From the beginning of the novel when the words “Recalled to Life” are uttered to the memorable sacrifice of Sydney Carton at the end, these themes are incorporated by Dickens in his attempt to show the effect of spiritual renewal on a character’s behavior and ambition. Charles Dickens also shows the effect of rebirth on a political level, namely the French mob who ironically are resurrected into the very class they seek to eliminate. These themes also draw parallels between the desolate Sydney Carton and despondent peasant population, who both crave to escape their anguish and seize greatness and recognition. Therefore, the themes of rebirth and resurrection are predominant because of the parallels it draws between the French mob and the main characters, the spiritual revitalizations the characters experience, and the irony of certain aspects they embody.

One reason why the themes of rebirth and resurrection are predominant is because of the parallels it draws between Sydney and the French mob. Sydney struggles to free himself from his apathetic and purposeless life, but is unsuccessful due to his alcoholism, which is a detriment to his social image because he will never be held in the upmost respect. In addition, his love for Lucie causes internal conflict and depression because he is constantly reminded by Darnay’s success that he cannot win Lucie’s heart. However, he is also rebellious because of his willingness to confess his love to Lucie saying “let me carry through the rest of my misdirected life the remembrance that I opened my heart for you…” (Dickens 155). Although Carton proves to be his own worst enemy, his final act of selflessness, in which he sacrifices his life for Darnay and Lucie’s happiness, earns him the greatest possible honor there is. He imagines himself resurrected in the “sanctuary in their...