“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens entails eternal themes of transformation and resurrection because nothing is permanent in the world and along with rapid run of life people are constantly changing to respond to emerging goods and evils. This eternal themes are of great value because in such a way the author shows that all people should be provided with a chance to change their lives for better, to strive for better living for themselves and their beloved people.
Actually, resurrection of heroes promotes the idea of hope which never dies. Transformation and resurrection are two powerful themes which are seen throughout plot progression. Furthermore, resurrection and transformation are illustrated on both societal and personal levels. It is seen that many characters appear to be involved in themes of redemption, love, and good vs. evil. All these themes are brought together to portray the themes of transformation and resurrection.
These themes can be applied to Dr. Manette who was taken away from his pregnant wife and unborn child. Dr. Manette was imprisoned for eighteen years and during them he experienced the worst conditions and he even forgot his real name. Dr. Manette is resurrected and his life is transformed for several times throughout the novel. In “Book the First” French government released him and bring to Monsieur Defarge to be cared.
Thus, French government gave him hope for restoring his life, his past and future because Dr. Manette is suddenly “recalled to life”. (19) Nevertheless, his transformation wasn’t complete till he was reunited with his lost daughter Lucy. It was Lucy’s love that enabled Manette to resurrect spiritually and his daughter reinforced his notion of the rebirth. Then, in “The Golden Thread” the themes of resurrection and transformation are involved several times.
For example, Charles Darnay was put on the trial because of treachery in England. He was considered a spy as he traveled forth and back between England and France. People were sure he had to be found guilty and, therefore, he had to be sentenced to death. However, Sydney Carton saved his live and Dr. Manette was “recalled to life” (35) for the second time. Nevertheless, then Dickens presents different perspectives on resurrection and transformation themes.
For example, he illustrates resurrection with a parody. Jerry Cruncher was a body-snatcher and he considered his night activities as the honest trade. His son was also proud of father’s activities and he desired to follow him: “Oh, Father, I should so like to be a resurrection-man when I'm quite growed up!” (166) It is necessary to outline that Sydney Carton is one more character who involved the most in the themes of transformation and resurrection.
Firstly he was presented as a man with lo self-esteem, though he was provided with tremendous amount of devotion, courage and self-sacrifice. It was Carton who helped to resurrect Charles Darnay, though it was no the only time he saved human’s life. When he organized the switch, the author emphasized the inner purposes of his actions. Dickens argues that Carton has never achieved the desired outcomes in his life and now the chance is ensured.
Carton realized he had to endanger his life as it was a way to redemption. Sydney understood his switch was successfully arranged and he had done a good job. When facing death Carton didn’t back away; instead he embraced it to resurrect later. Till death he was prophetic and peaceful and he even made friends with woman being unjustly sentenced to death. In the final moment before death, Carton was portrayed as a Messiah who was giving his life allowing others to enjoy theirs.
Before he was beheaded, he uttered Jesus’ words: “I am the Resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die”. (366) In such a way the author tends to show that Carton lived till the end of the book when final resurrection took place. Summing up every theme in the book is provided with specific purpose. Eternal themes of redemption, love are included in the transformation and resurrection theme to unite the plot and to add to author’s style of writing.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.