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Sacrifice, a Tale of Two Cities

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 270
  • Category: Death

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Sacrifice is a major, prevalent theme in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Sacrifice is strongly depicted by the actions of Doctor Alexandre Manette and Sydney Carton. Doctor Manette sacrifices his feelings for Lucie. He says that “any fancies, any reasons, any apprehensions, anything whatsoever, new or old… shall all be obliterated for her sake” (141). Because of his relapse when Charles Darnay almost revealed his identity to him, the reader can infer that deep down, Doctor Manette always knew that Darnay was the Monsieur Marquis St. Evremonde. However, he sacrifices his own feelings and tries to forget his sorrows for Lucie because “she is… more to me than suffering, more to me than wrong” (141-142). Sydney Carton demonstrates a prime case of sacrifice.

He has told Lucie before that he “would give his life, to keep a life [she] loves beside her” (159). Although he knows that Darnay thinks of him “as a dissolute dog who has never done any good, and never will” (214), he still exchanges places with Darnay and dies in his place for the woman he loved. He knew that he would never be able to win her heart because of the life he has thrown away, but still saves his rival, Darnay. He then “makes the supreme sacrifice on the bloodstained streets of Paris” (back of book), thinking to himself: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known” (386). His death and ultimate sacrifice brings Darnay’s life.

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