Dinesh Perera

Hon English 9B
April 23, 2004
Three Relationships, One Revolution
“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

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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 and continues making shoes,
for he can not be away from Lucie, but Mr. Lorry takes the time to talk to
Dr. Manette and watch over him and help him with his problem. Mr. Lorry
utters “You know me my dear friend? Think again. This is not your proper
occupation. Think, dear friend.”(177). The quote shows how Mr. Lorry
expressed him self at Dr. Manette during the Doctors relapse, and that Mr.

Lorry talked to him in such a caring manner, not in a manner as if he was
ordered to watch over the doctor. The next friendship relationship is
between Dr. Manette and Charles Darnay. When the mob of angry citizens take
over the town and Darnay is about to be killed Dr. Manette uses his history
of being in the Bastille to get he mob to let Darnay live. The narrator
inquires ” But, thought the doctor tried hard, and never ceased tying, to
get Charles Darnay set at liberty…”(248). That quote is a description of
how hard Dr. Manette fought for Darnay’s life and finally got him safe.

The people of the town finally have no one to kill but themselves and
attitudes and relations change once more, but that is how people live, from
Friendship to love, or to Vengeance or to Fear and many more all relations,
sometime or another, begin to have a change. Charles Dickens does a very
good job of simulating real peoples feeling and the reality of the world
and all it goes through.


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