Charles Dickens captures the aura of the French Revolution so poetically it is almost as if he was there. Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is a thrilling novel originally printed in the newspaper, explaining the cliffhangers at the end of many a chapter. One of the elements that makes the story so thrilling is his incorporation of the theme of fate. Dickens incorporates innumerable symbols to enforce this theme. The echoing footsteps, the storm, and the water are all symbols that reflect the theme of fate by demonstrating the inevitability of your fate.The echoing footsteps written in the novel are meant to inspire the idea of all of the people that are going to come into the characters’ lives. Dickens’ character Lucie Manette is listening to a storm with her friends when she says, “I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by-and-by into our lives” (Dickens 78). This quote indicates that Lucie has some premonition of people who will enter her life. While Lucie may think she has some idea of what and who are coming into her life, she has no idea what direction fate will take her. She does not know if she will meet good people or bad people, and all she can do is wait and be patient. Patience is a virtue when it comes to fate, because fate plays out on its own. Further into the conversation Charles Darnay asks of Lucie, “Are all these footsteps destined to come to all of us, Miss Manette, or are we to divide them among us?” (78). Mr. Darnay, like all humans, is curious about his fate. Humans are extremely curious about their future, otherwise fortune-tellers would not be in business. The reason for this is most likely a mix between people’s curiosity and their obsession with control. People hav…
… brings up the idea that one cannot change their fate through his symbols, and his inclusion of water as a symbol reinforces this notion.
The theme of fate is represented by the echoing footsteps, the storm, and the water with the idea that one cannot stop their fate from proceeding. Dickens uses many symbols throughout A Tale of Two Cities that aid in the promotion of the theme of fate. These three symbols demonstrate the idea that one’s fate is unchangeable and there is a reason for that. The symbols used in this book to expose the theme of fate indicate that Dickens believes that fate is powerful force not to be messed with. Dickens relays the theme of fate being unchangeable in an effective and exciting way that captivates readers and makes A Tale of Two Cities a marvelous read.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. N.p.: Dover, 1999. Print.