Resurrection:Giving Meaning To Life Essay

1047 words - 5 pages

Rebirth, a prominent idea in Christianity and Western thought, is often associated with rejuvenation and second chances. The idea of a second birth is both a baptism and a change in identity— all of which figure prominently in Charles Dickens’s novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Two characters, Dr. Manette and Sydney Carton, both go through the process of rebirth and a change of identity. The process of birth is in nature a responsibility of the female, in both Dr. Manette’s case and Sydney Carton’s they are reborn through the actions they do for Lucie— whose name is telling in itself, meaning light/daylight all symbolic of something new/God the light and the way. Resurrection is a reoccurring theme which can be seen through the actions of Dr. Manette and Sydney Carton.
One character who experiences resurrection is Dr. Manette. His birth is connected to an inversion of the parent-child relationship. The doctor has been imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years. It can be seen that the Bastille has acted like a womb for Dr. Manette and reduced him into a baby-like, infantile state. Being locked away for such a long time had driven Dr. Manette to begin to lose his sanity. In order to remain sane the doctor must entertain himself by making shoes. He first experiences resurrection after he is reunited with his daughter, Lucie. “She held him closer round the neck and rocked him on her breast like a child” (64). Here it is made apparent that Lucie will take on the role of a maternal figure and help restore her father to a normal life style. The role of the parent-child relationship is reversed in this situation. Instead of Dr. Manette taking care of Lucie, Lucie takes care of her father. Also, Mr. Lorry tells Dr. Mannette that he is recalled to life. This phrase, recalled to life, is used to show that the doctor has been given a change to go back into the world and experience freedom. Lucie brings her father back home where he remains demented. Lack of identification can be seen when the doctor only refers to himself solely as One Hundred and Five, North Tower, which was the number of his prison cell. Dr. Mannette continues to lapse into phases where he will make shoes. One can see that Dr. Mannette is incapable of functioning in a world outside of his prison cell walls; he has forgotten what it is like to live a normal life. However, Lucie with her unconditional love slowly helps him regain sanity along with the help of his friends and family. Lucie is a dedicated daughter who will do anything for her father. Also, the doctor experiences resurrection when he is able to return to France and help Charles Darnay be removed from prison. Here he was able to redeem himself and free Darnay. Later it is stated, “No garret, no shoemaking, no One Hundred and Five, North Tower, now…”(382). This quote can be interpreted that Dr. Manette has achieved resurrection. As humans we chose to determine our own fates. Dr....

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