The French Revolution was a period between 1789 and 1799 when the lower class overthrew the aristocracy. A Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens in 1859 occurs during the French Revolution. In the desperate time of the French Revolution, especially in this novel, individuals were willing to make sacrifices for the love of their families, their safety, and their country. Dickens represents this throughout the novel. In A Tale of Two Cities, many sacrifices, such as Dr. Manette sacrificing his sanity to save Charles Darnay, Miss Pross sacrificing her hearing to keep Lucie safe, and Sydney Carton making the ultimate sacrifice by substituting himself for Darnay at the Guillotine, are made for love.
First, Dr. Manette, from his affection for his daughter Lucie, sacrifices his sanity in giving up his shoemaking bench and trying to save Charles Darnay from La Force. Initially, Dr. Manette forfeits his shoemaking bench, a tool he employed to calm himself after his imprisonment in the Bastille. This event occurs after a nine-day relapse into a neurotic state after Charles Darnay revealed his true name to him. Though it is a source of comfort to him, the bench is a reminder of his mental weakness and a cause of concern to Lucie. Mr. Lorry, who was present during the relapse, implores him “to sacrifice it… For his daughter’s sake, my dear Manette!” (158). As a matter of fact, Dr. Manette does give up the bench for the love and compassion of his daughter. Later, Dr. Manette uses his authority as a former prisoner of the Bastille to hearten Lucie by saving Charles Darnay. This delicate situation makes Dr. Manette likely to relapse. Then, after a successful liberation with Darnay being freed and Manette being mentally stabl…
…Lucie, Charles Darnay, Dr. Manette, and the rest of the family appreciate Sydney Carton’s magnanimous tenderness. Only out of pure love and affection does Sydney Carton sacrifice his life for the life Lucie loves to keep her content.
In conclusion, sacrifice, especially for love, is a major theme of A Tale of Two Cities, as shown through Dr. Manette sacrificing his sanity, Miss Pross sacrificing her hearing, and Carton making the ultimate sacrifice of his life. Dr. Manette forfeits his sanity for his greater love of his daughter. In addition, Miss Pross gives up her hearing for her pride and joy Lucie. Finally, Carton makes the greatest sacrifice for the greatest love one can have. Above all, love is the greatest force, and people are willing to sacrifice almost anything for it.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. Mineola: Dover, 1999. Print