Three Relationships, One Revolution

Hon English 9B

April 23, 2004

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” (Dickens 1). These words written by Charles Dickens, in the novel A Tale of Two Cities describes the hard times the people of France were going through during the French Revolution. As times goes on many characters in the novel begin to have different relationships with other characters. By this I mean that characters begin to hate other characters, love other characters and so on. The three relationships that will be described are Love, Vengeance and friendship.

The first kind of relationship is Love. The relationship love is basically something one character does for another out of love. The first example would be when Sydney Carton takes Charles Darnay’s place under the guillotine. Sydney Carton has had a love for Lucie, Charles Darnay’s wife, ever since he saw her, and since that occasion he was willing to do anything to gain her love, but when Charles Darnay is put under trial and he is sentenced to the guillotine, Carton realizes how much Lucie loves Darnay and uses his exact looks of Darnay to save Darnay, even though Darnay does not particularly like Carton, and Carton does not particularly like Darnay. The narrator states “…and spoke of Sydney Carton as a problem of carelessness and recklessness” (188). The quote shows the feelings of Charles Darnay towards Sydney Carton before he saves Darnay’s life. Another relationship of love is that of Dr. Manette and his wife, for while he is imprisoned he holds a couple of strands of hair to help him “stay alive”. While Dr. Manette is imprisoned he begs that he is allowed to keep the few strands of hair from his wife’s head, which helps him get through all the his years of imprisonment, and gives him hope of someone still caring for him. The narrator here describes the following “…put his hand to his neck, and took off a blackened string with a scrap of folded rag attached to it. He opened this carefully on his knee, and it contained a very little quantity of hair…” (39). The quote describes the first time Dr. Manette sees his daughter, Lucie, and takes out his wife’s hairs that he kept around his neck to compare it to Lucie’s hair.

The next type of relationship is Vengeance, or revenge. This relationship is one character usually trying to get his revenge on someone they have something against. The first scene of vengeance being brought up is Gaspard killing the Marquis. On the Marquis return home from his party he carelessly runs over Gaspard’s son and throws a couple of coins at Gaspard to make up for it, Gaspard, getting irritated at this, sneaks into the Marquis house later one night, and kills him in his sleep. The Marquis runs over the boy and says “‘What has gone wrong?’ said Monsieur … ‘Pardon Monsieur the Marquis’ said a ragged and submissive man, ‘it is a child’” (98). The quote is the scene of which the Marquis runs over Gaspard’s son and hardly seems to care. The second scenario is when Madame Defarge is killed by Miss Pross. As the revolution takes way Madam Defarge ignores her husbands orders of not injuring the Manette’s, but she does not listen and goes after them, but Miss Pross confronts her in a small room where they begin a fight, and Madame Defarge is killed by her own gun which accidentally goes off. Madame Defarge orders “Let me see her. Go tell her that I wish to see her.”(336). At this point Madame Defarge and Miss Pross are staring at each other and Madame Defarge orders to see Lucie but Miss Pross does not allow her to.

The third, and final, relationship is friendship. There are many characters that do favors for each other out of pure friendship. The first example of friendship is when Mr. Lorry takes the time to help Dr. Manette get through his hard times by taking away his bench on which he makes shoes. When Lucie leaves on her honeymoon with Charles Darnay, now newly weds, Dr. Manette goes back to his workbench