Saturday, 28 March 2020

Discuss the major theme of A tale of two cities notes

                     A TALE OF TWO CITIES

HOW DOES DICKENS DEAL WITH THE THEME OF DEATH OR REBIRTH IN “ A TALE OF TWO CITIES”




 RESURRECTION AS A MAJOR THEME

Discuss the major theme of A tale of two cities notes
THEME OF TALE OF TWO CITIES


 The main theme of A tale of two cities being “Resurrection”, Dickens gives to earthly and transcendent connotations. Though originally “resurrection” is religious in context as it calls up images of Jesus Christ being resurrection here , it gains a secular and religious context as it assumes various forms and is expressed through different phases of their lives. This central theme is illustrated again and again as it overshadows the social, political and love theme in the novel.


MAJOR THEME OF A TALE OF TWO CITIES

RESURRECTION OF CHARACTER
Thus “resurrection” manifests itself in various forms through various characters. All three man in Lucie’s life are resurrection in some forms or the other. While her father is resurrected physically and mentally, Charles is resurrected physically and Sydney is resurrected spiritually . Besides physical  and spiritual resurrection , various characters in the novel are resurrected in a comic and grotesque way . Various characters are recalled to life in some way or the other . While Charles and Dr. Manett’s life is resorted , Sydney loss her life and is spiritually resurrected.

Initially Dickens had planned to call is novel buried alive as this was the main idea behind the novel. The novel  starts with the release or recall to life of Dr. Manette who was “buried alive” for eighteen years in the Bastille . His daughter Lucie who had always thought he has dead is shocked to find that her father is not dead but has been imprisoned for such a long period. She promises  to bring this ghost of a man, who has spent eighteen years in prison , back to life , with love and care she resurrects him to life mentally and intellectually.


Charles Darnay, Marquis de Evremonde’s nephew alones for the sins of his ancestors and disowns his legacy and country. He comes to England to lead a descent and simple life of his own. Thus , he is resurrected as he alones for the bloodshed caused by his ancestors. Later in England he is accused of being a spy, but at the last minute he escapes the gallows due to his resemblance with Sydney carton. This , too is a form of resurrection. History is separated once again when Charles goes to France to help his former Servant , Gabella . There he is arrested by the revolutionaries . Though he is released as Dr. Manette being held in high esteem , he is re-arrested of a letter written by the doctor when he had been in prison . This letter of denunciation is used against Charles and he is condemned to death. At the last moment he is saved (resurrected) by Sydney Carton who dies for him.


Though Charles is resurrected from death again and again , it is Sydney who is actually resurrected spiritually . Though an intelligent man, he is a Wastrel who is totally demoralized with life. His love for Lucie inspired him with Courage, faith and humanity and he promises to repay the compassion she has shown him. Thus Charles is  condemned to death, he plans to die for him so that Lucie can be happy . He remembers his fatrher’s funeral where the priest had said, “I am the resurrection and the life”. He plans to bring life to Charles and makes plans for his ultimate sacrifices. He drugs Charles, exchanges clothes with him and has him sent in a carriage, to Lucie.


Jervish Lorry and Dr. Manette, Sydney, thus becomes Christ-like an full of love and compassion.
In fact, he visualizes the resurrection of the city and the masses. His vision and sacrifices make him achieve ultimate resurrection.

At each and every step, various character are resurrected physically on spiritually. Jerry Gruncher , the resurrection man who digs dead bodies is ultimately resurrected as he regrets his past actions and wishes to alone for his sins. The name “Resurrection man” of Jerry Gruncher is an irony to the theme of resurrection in the Novel.
Roger cly and Foulor are resurrected in a comic way , solomen Miss pross’s brother’s resurrection is also comical as she had thought that he was dead .



SOCIAL AND POLITICAL RESURRECTION 
 
Besides the resurrection of characters there is social and political resurrection the oppressed French mases revolt against their exploiter so that they can face a better life.
Another theme closely related to the resurrection theme is that revolutions can happen anywhere. The tyrannical; and heartless rulling class in French squared the people to resurrection.


THEME OF RENUNCIATION
Integrated with this theme is the theme of “Renunciation” while Charles renounces his legacy, Sydney renounces his life in Charles act of renunciation raises him in high esteem as it is the illustrations of his geneniosity and humanity Sydney’s renunciation of his life makes him achieve tragic dignity. He dies for humanity thus his renunciation is christain.
Related to this is the theme of “Love” which is a major theme is the novel. Lucie’s love gives solace to Dr. Manette, Charles , Miss pross, Jarvish lorry and Sydney. Lucie’s compassion transforms Sydney into a Christ like figure. He becomes a symbol of love and sacrifice while love regenerated all these characters like, Madame Defarge. Ultimately Sydney’s act of sacrifices symbolizes the triumph of love over hatred. Ultimately, love is the panacea for all evils.



CONCLUSION
To sum up, we may say that “A tale of two cities” has a multiplicity of themes which are interwoven artistically. The various themes are expressed through a group of private individuals who are suspect into the whirlpool of a public events like the revolution. The themes of renunciation, resurrection and love are developed against the background of French Revolution .


RELATED POST YOU MAY LIKE


A TALE OF TWO CITIES AS A HISTORICAL NOVEL A TALE OF TWO CITIES SYMBOLISM

No comments:

Post a comment