Symbolism in a Tale of Two Cities

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Charles Dickens, the author of A Tale of Two Cities, illustrates knitting to symbolize the fate of characters during the time of the rising revolution. In Book II, the act of knitting becomes a major symbol in the story. The theme is seen through two female figures, Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge, who weave their way into people lives determining if they are to lead a life of prosperity and hope or desperation and misery. Lucie Manette’s golden thread and Madame Defarge’s thread of fate both depict the idea of destiny in contrasting ways. The title of Book II, “the golden thread” is symbolic of the charm and beauty of Lucie Manette’s long golden hair. Lucie’s character “winds the golden thread that binds them all together, weaving the service of her happy influence through the tissue of all their lives”(218). Lucie weaves her way into the lives of those who are troubled by displaying a powerful feeling of love and happiness. Through out the book, we are introduced to characters that lead a distressful life of disappointment. Lucie ignites these characters and ensures them a more promising destiny by binding them into her family. For example, Lucie’s thread unites her father with the present keeping him from dwelling upon the horrors of his past. She reminds her father of the life he had before he was a prisoner and gives his life a purpose. Her endless love and devotion has healed her father from a state of madness allowing him to live his life to his fullest potential. Lucie has also provided her friend, Sydney Carton a more promising fate by binding him into her family. Before he met Lucie, Sydney was a “disappointed drudge” whose life was controlled by alcohol. Lucie’s love recalls Sydney back to life by giving him a new purpose to live a meaningful life of prosperity instead of distress. In the lives of both her father and friend, Lucie has become a symbol
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