Light In A Tale Of Two Cities

Decent Essays
Light and darkness can be seen as contrasting figures; figures of good or evil, optimistic or pessimistic, to even obtaining the names of heroes and villains. However, one may wonder the product of a combination of the two; would this figure be a combination of these two adjectives or rather change completely to the opposing side? In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, this possibility is uncovered by the unique characterizations of Lucie, Doctor Manette, and Sydney Carton. Lucie is portrayed to be a figure of light, a figure that holds the power to influence peers. Throughout this novel, Lucie has great impact on Doctor Manette and Sydney Carton’s lives due to this character trait. Dickens describes Lucie having “a quantity of golden…show more content…
Manette is first a figure of darkness but throughout time Lucie’s influence of lightness turns him into a light figure. As Manette first has a traumatic experience in 105 North Tower, he is a traumatized mess. The darkness in his figure is in his shoemaking habits, as he is first seen in a dark attic with “a white beard, raggedly cut, but not very long, a hollow face, and exceedingly bright eyes (page 40).” Manette is deeply confused, as he only knows one process; how to make shoes. Even when Ernest DeFarge, the wine shop owner that is keeping Manette safe, asks for his name his response is “ One Hundred and Five, North Tower (page 42).” The only figure that relieves Manette from this state is his daughter, Lucie. Lucie gets Manette to stop shoemaking through a passionate speech and comforts him as well as bringing him to England. Soon enough Manette recovers mostly from these traumatic moments and regards much of his success to his daughter as “only his daughter had the power of charming this black brooding from his mind. She was the golden thread… (page 80).” Lucie is such an important part of his life, as such importance made Manette relapse for about nine days of shoemaking due to Lucie being gone on a honeymoon vacation with her husband. This shows the darkness coming back to Manette yet the darkness is only temporary, as the influence of lightness from Lucie overpowered a permanent bad habit. This lightness stays with Manette throughout the whole book, as…show more content…
Carton is an alcoholic with a mastermind in law who is very envious of Darnay who ends up stealing the woman he loves. Carton even admits if he could “change places with him, and would [he] have been looked at by those blue eyes as he was.. (page 86).” This shows his darkness, as he is envious of people that could’ve been him since he looks just like him, yet Carton never makes the effort to change for the better. Moveover Carton doesn’t believe doesn’t believe his situation will get better as “[he] shall never be better than [he is] (page 151).” Throughout the book, Carton keeps a dark figure; he keeps drinking as well as helping Stryver with law. Carton is the jackal, or the brains of the operations of court and Stryver is the lion, or the body that gets all the credit of the operations of court. This is where Carton shuts himself out from success, yet Carton admits he “would never be a lion (page 87).” However, Carton starts obtaining lightness from Lucie when he has an in depth talk with her. Lucie being polite, she listens to what he is saying as well as giving him advice and motivation. Since Lucie is so polite Carton proposes that “there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you! (page 155)” Lucie’s lightness seeps through Carton as he keeps this promise to his last breath. Carton dies for Darnay, so Lucie could be with the man she loves which shows
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