Charles Dickens and A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens wrote his historical fiction novel based on his inspiration of the French Revolution. The Revolution affects some of the characters greatly and they change all throughout the novel. In the historical fiction novel A Tale of Two Cities, events leading up to the revolution spark transformations in the characters Doctor Alexander Manette, Madame Defarge, and Sydney Carton. Doctor Alexander Manette, locked in the Bastille for eighteen years was traumatized from the horrible experience. It took him a few more years to overcome his fears. “Perfectly still and silent, and not even fallen back in her chair, she sat under his hand, utterly insensible; with her eyes upon him, and with that last expression looking as if it were carved a branched to have forehead” (Dickens, Book the First, 44). Lucie helps her father become “Recalled to life” so he could be relieved from all of the pain he went through. Doctor Manette suffers relapses, but for his son-in-law he will do all in his power to save him. “On the morning of their marriage, Doctor Manette had made it his one urgent and express request to Charles Darnay, that the secret of his name should be-unless he, the doctor, dissolved the obligation- kept inviolate between them” (Dickens, Book the Second, 421). When the Doctor discovers Charles’s real name, he goes back into relapse. It reminded him of his awful moments in prison. “the Doctor walked with a steadily head: confident in his power, cautiously persistent in his end, never doubting that he would save Lucie’s husband at last” (Dickens, Book the Third, 485). Doctor Manette was determined to save Charles, and he did not let any memories of the Bastille get in the way.

Madame Defarge never liked the aristocrats and she was all for the French Revolution. At first she started off as an observer. “Madame Defarge was a stout woman of about his own age that, with a watchful eye that seldom seemed to look at an…