By definition, loyalty is faithfulness, devotion, or dedication to someone or something. Loyalty is one of the essential attributes a person must have and must demand of others. People often have conflicting loyalties, and there are no guidelines that help them to decide to what or whom they should be loyal. In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens illustrates how loyalty can ennoble someone or make them foolish.
Titled “golden thread” in A Tale of Two Cities, Lucie Manette symbolized loyalty. Lucie’s loyalty to her father, Dr. Manette, is the only thing that kept him from reverting back to his former miserable self. When Dr. Manette was recovering, Lucie cradled her father’s head on her chest, comforting him when he was feckless, and encapsulating her role as the “golden thread” that holds her family together. When he relapsed into his shoemaker phase, Lucie stayed up with him, night after night. Lucie manifests her purity of devotion to her husband, Charles Darnay, in her unquestioning willingness to wait at a street corner for two hours each day, for over a year, on the off chance that he would catch sight of her from his prison window. With an archetype of compassion, love that has the power to bind her family together, and loyalty to her father and husband, Lucie has a truly ennobled personality.
Similar to Lucie, Sydney Carton’s loyalty proves to be ennobling, and transforms Carton from an unmotivated alcoholic to a man of profound merit. When he pledges that he will give his life to save Lucie or anyone close to her, you see his true colors. He is really dedicated to her, and though he would give anything to have her, he’s willing to step back and simply allow her to know how he feels instead of fighting for her. Sydney later proves his dedication by coming around to help out, play with the kids, and just in general be part of the family. Carton’s promise to Lucie takes him to the guillotine at the end of A Tale of Two Cities. He died in Darnay’s...
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