A tale of two cities depicts a story of love happening in the shadow of great social upheaval in the form of a revolution. The story touches upon two different themes (i.e. love and war) together and beautifully correlates both the themes. On one side Lucie Manette, Darnay, and Sidney are engaged in a love-triangle where Sydney’s sacrifice becomes instrumental in bringing Darnay and Sidney together but their idyllic union is soon disturbed when Darnay comes to know about the incidents in his own city Paris where French Revolution is knocking at the doorstep. Darnay’s aristocratic family comes in the line of fire due to their wealth and arrogant behavior. Darany gets arrested which makes Dr. Manette along with Lucie to come to the rescue of this son-in-law and they engage in the trial of Darnay where he is about to be convicted and guillotined but Sidney again comes to their rescue and saves Darnay’s life. Sydney Carton’s s resemblance with Darnay makes them dupe the prosecutors and results in the escape of Darnay. Sydney is guillotined and he does not regret this as he thinks he has at least lent some meaning to his life.
The story is interesting and has entered into my favorite stories’ list as it contains human ethos where human beings are sacrificing for each other. The selflessness has been preferred over selfishness. This selflessness is in sharp contrast with the selfishness of the aristocracy in France that became the cause of French Revolutions. The writer seems to suggest that selflessness lends meaning to our lives. When we do something for our fellow beings we achieve a sense of purpose and meaningfulness in our lives. Sydney to me is a hero who has assumed an idealistic role by becoming the cause of happiness for other people. It is regretted that in spite of developing so much liking for the book, I could not use it for my group projects as the theme of the story does not correspond to a theme that has to be selected by the whole group. I can cherish it individually but cannot add to it the project reading list.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. Irvine: Saddleback Educational Pub, 2010. Internet resource.