A Tale of Two Cities Theme Essay

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Paige Gowan Ms. Guissi Honors English 2 December 18, 2012 A Tale of Prejudice In many famous works of literature, a popular theme that is explored is “The first impression is not a true depiction of one’s character”. Both Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities feature characters in their novels that epitomize this theme in ways that both parallel and contrast each other. In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen there is one character in particular that thoroughly exemplifies this theme. Mr. Darcy is a wealthy gentleman in his late twenties from a well-established family. As the novel’s protagonist, Elizabeth, first meets him, she deems him conceited and arrogant. This is the description most people apply to Mr. Darcy, especially upon their first meeting. In a way Mr. Darcy reminds me of Dickens’ character, Sydney Carton. He is depicted as a lazy drunken attorney who cannot be bothered to care for anyone. He describes his life as being worthless and takes every opportunity to express how little he cares. In reply to Miss Manette asking him if a better life would be more ideal, he replies, “I shall never be better than I am. I shall sink lower, and be worse.” (Dickens 144). Mr. Darcy and Mr. Carton’s acquaintances both make these judgments of them based off their attire, rumors, and what they say. However, we later find in both novels that these characterizations are not entirely true. Both men in these novels go through a turning point that reveals their true character. In Pride and Prejudice we see Mr. Darcy begin to fall in love with the eloquent Elizabeth Bennet who perceives him negatively because of their first encounter and what she has gathers from his appearance. Mr. Darcy wants the world to identify him as a man of high stature so he could never court a woman of such low social status as Elizabeth Bennet. He goes to

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