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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Dickens uses honor in a number of ways. But the biggest way, and most universal to the story, is saying that there is more honor in overcoming bad than in being good the whole time. This thinking is especially fit for the story because it is still relevant 150 years later.

Sydney Carton at the beginning of the novel is a lazy, drunken, slob . He has no interest in his life or anyone around him. He refers to himself as "a disappointed drudge." (pg 102) Carton doesn't even have pity for himself. Carton says he is "like one who died young." (pg 185) But as the novel progresses so does Carton. After he expressed his love for Lucie he became a different man. Carton makes several changes. He stopped drinking, became friends with Darnay and visited the Manette house occasionally. The most monumental thing that Carton did to let everyone know he's changed is going to the guillotine for Darnay. When Carton is up at the guillotine he says, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done." (pg 462)

Charles Darnay, the nephew of the cruel Marquis Evremonde, started off the novel in a courtroom. Darnay spent as much time in a courtroom in this novel as Carton spent in the pub. Darnay was on trial for being a French spy but was acquitted after looking too much like Sydney Carton. The reason Darnay went to prison was because of the Manette's, ironically. Dr. Manette went to prison because of what the Evremondes did and he wrote an account of what happened. In that account Dr. Manette had condemned everyone in the Evremonde family.

In A Tale of Two Cities there is more honor in overcoming bad than in being good the whole time. This theory is good because we can still use it today. For example Alcoholic Anonymous is a program that helps people "overcome bad". It's also a program that Sydney Carton would most likely use. There are also programs to help prisoners get jobs. This would be a program that Charles Darnay would probably use.

There is more honor in overcoming bad than in being good the whole time would be the theme of A Tale of Two Cities. This thinking relates to the novel, in characters Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay, and also in life today.



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