English 10 Honors
16 Apr. 2018
A Second Chance
Does the idea of resurrection allow people to want to take significant actions in their lives? Life is always the top priority of every living creature, particularly humans. The thought of having a longer life, or even multiple lives have inspired many. Sacrifices and risks are made in hopes that they will bring a better and more prosperous life, just as Jesus Christ, sacrificed himself in the name of God and his people. Christ’s resurrection is alluded to in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, where both Sydney Carton and the population of Paris are willing to sacrifice their own for the sake of living again. Through imagery, Sydney Carton is depicted as a Christ- like figure, further driving the theme of resurrection.
Sydney Carton’s subservient qualities towards others highlights his self-hatred, emphasize his sense of resurrection. Carton spends most nights working to make of one the most idiotic men of England into a top lawyer, despite his slight hatred toward his loathsome boss. Carton and his genius brain work for Stryver seems questionable in itself, considering how Carton truly is the sole working member of this “team”. However, Carton has an issue with believing that he can do anything more. After Carton stumbles home and onto his bed after a drunken, miserable night, “Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities…resigning himself to let it eat him away” (97). He thinks about the one passion he wants, the one passion he can never have: Lucie. One of Sydney’s lowest points, drenching his pillow in tears over a girl he believes will never love him back, alludes to no one’s belief in Christ and all he could do. Christ had many believers, including himself, and the strength of those who loved him allowed him to sacrifice his life. In Christ’s case, the imagery of him dying to cure humanity of their sins contrasts with Carton’s need to die for his own. For Carton to truly hate himself enough to let his depression take over, however, brings about a higher resurrection when he finally finds his happiness. The image of a sun rising to the dark scene foreshadows his resurrection and how a new day will rise within him, thus bringing new outlooks on his life, particularly, new outlooks on love. Carton’s unconditional love for Lucie and his willingness to sacrifice himself also accentuates his dynamic qualities. Dickens uses this imagery to contrast Carton’s self-deprecation to his self-determined fate, making his resurrection all the more powerful. His sacrifice was ultimate not because he believed he was of utmost importance, but because his sacrifice gave him the redemption he needed after a life of misery. His belief in self-resurrection gave him the power he needed to give himself away, and “They said of him, about the city that night, that it was the most peacefullest man’s face ever beheld there. Many added...