A Tale of Two Cities: the Theme of Sacrifice

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Throughout the book, A Tale of Two Cities the theme of sacrifice is used to help the reader realize the cost of life, as well as to develop the plot through the effects of those sacrifices. Through the characters of Sydney Carton, Dr. Manette, and Ms. Pross the theme of sacrifice is developed. The theme of sacrifice brings key aspects of the plot together, and Carton's sacrifice brings the novel to closer in the end.

Sydney Carton paid the highest cost of sacrifice with his life, and in doing so he was very similar to Jesus Christ. Carton laid down his life for a man who had never done anything for him and who in fact had abused his relationship as demonstrated on page 191 when Carton describes himself in Darnay's view as "a dissolute dog who has never done any good, and never will." Similarly Jesus Christ let himself be beaten, abused, and killed for the same people who spit in his face. Other people in both cases thought that Jesus and Carton were not thought to be much more that dogs, while they both sacrificed their lives so these people who treated them like dogs could live. Both Carton's and Jesus' sacrifice was inspired by a deep desperate love for which they were willing to do anything. Carton was willing to die for Lucie because of his desperate, scandalous love for her, just as Jesus showed his love for man when he was willing to give up his life for every man. This level of love makes the sacrifice even more valuable and brings things to closure. Finally, Carton and Jesus both knew that through their sacrifice, others could have life. Carton's death breathed life into Darnay just as Jesus Christ's death breathes life into those who trust in him. The importance of their death is that it brings life. The role of Carton's sacrifice in the plot is that the cost of life is sometimes high. Through his sacrifice the cost and privilege of living can be measured, just as Christians can see the true cost and privilege of life through Jesus Christ's...
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