Throughout the book, A Tale of Two Cities the theme of sacrifice is used to help the reader realize the cost of life, as well as to develop the plot through the effects of those sacrifices. Through the characters of Sydney Carton, and Dr. Manette, the theme of sacrifice is developed. The theme of sacrifice brings key aspects of the plot together, and Carton’s sacrifice brings the novel to closer in the end. Sydney Carton paid the highest cost of sacrifice with his life.
Carton laid down his life for a man who had never done anything for him and who in fact had abused his relationship when Carton describes himself in Darnay’s view as “a dissolute dog that has never done any good, and never will. ” Carton’s sacrifice was inspired by a deep desperate love for which he was willing to do anything. Sydney Carton promises Lucie “I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. ” He makes the ultimate sacrifice for Darnay. Carton was willing to die for Lucie because of his desperate love for her.
This level of love makes the sacrifice even more valuable and brings things to closure. Finally, Carton knew that through his sacrifice, others could have life. Carton’s death breathed life into Darnay. The importance of their death is that it brings life. The role of Carton’s sacrifice in the plot is that the cost of life is sometimes high. Through his sacrifice the cost and privilege of living can be measured. Dr. Manette sacrifices his freedom in order to preserve his integrity. Dr.
Manette sacrifices his own feelings for Lucie’s happiness when Darnay reveals to him his true identity. Furthermore, Doctor Manette is shown to sacrifice his own mental health when he suffers a relapse of his prison-born derangement by allowing the nephew of his enemy to marry his daughter. Darnay sacrifices a title and inheritance rather than “live on the overburdened people of France”. He sacrifices his personal freedom and safety in order to aid a faithful family servant in Paris. The tribunal expects Dr. Manette to sacrifice his family, if need be, for the good of the revolution.