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A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

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Explain the statement Recalled to life and which characters identify with it.

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The theme of being recalled to life is the idea of rebirth. The first book in Dickens’ tale is called Recalled to Life. At first, Dr. Manette is recalled to life after being imprisoned for 18 years. Lucie’s love and devotion to her father has restored him to health, and therefore brought him back from his metaphorical death.

Charles Darnay is also recalled to life but in a different way. He is recalled to life twice and both times by Syndey Carton. The first time he is rescued from what appears to be certain death in his trial for treason. Because of Carton’s keen observation, Darnay is acquitted. The second time occurs in Paris when he is about to die on the guillotine. Carton, looking so much like him, takes his place to die and allows Darnay to be a free man and to return home to his wife Lucie.

Finally, Sydney Carton is also recalled to life (the resurrection). By taking Darnay’s place and dying on the guillotine, Carton is recalled to life by the fact that he has now given his life purpose and meaning.

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