Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Essay

When has anything in life ever been free? Has it ever been possible for a person to achieve success, happiness, or any measure of achievement without sacrifice? Sacrifice is a recurring theme throughout A Tale of Two Cities because it is a necessity for any justice or happiness achieved in the novel. The sacrifices made in A Tale of Two Cities consist of sacrifice to the state, sacrifice of others, as well as self-sacrifice for others.

One of the elements of sacrifice commonly found in A Tale of Two Cities is sacrifice to the state. While there are many citizens who throughout the novel exemplify and encourage sacrifice to the state, the absolute best example is Madame Defarge. Madame Defarge is a cruel and determined nationalist who wants nothing less than complete submission to the revolution’s cause. “My husband, fellow citizen, is a good Republican and a bold man; he has deserved well of the Republic, and possesses its confidence. But my husband has his weaknesses, and he is so weak as to relent towards this Doctor.” (Madame Defarge, p.364) Madame Defarge is furious at her husband for taking pity on poor Dr. Manette. The Doctor had traveled to France to plea his son-in-law, Charles Darnay’s case and attempt to spare his life. Madame Defarge is so intent on revenge that she ignores the cries and pleas of both Dr. Manette and her very own husband. She is truly loyal to the new revolutionary state, and has sacrificed her innocent citizens, her sense of morality, and even her marriage for that cause.

A second element of sacrifice commonly found throughout A Tale of Two Cities is the sacrifice of others. After Dr. Manette had been imprisoned for so many long years, he had acquired such a great love for his daughter, Lucie Manette, who had helped him to regain his sanity after such a long time. This great love created a strong bond between the Doctor and his daughter, one that would be unbearable to break. Yet the Doctor is...
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