"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
A Tale of Two Cities
A point of view in which a person is taking can change the way someone feels about the person or event that is being described. By the bias and stance the narrator has, characters or events can be changed in their relevance, importance, or relationship to the main idea by the narrator of a story. In Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, having the point of view seen through Lucie Manette’s eyes would have dramatically changed the book for the better involving her tone and role as “the golden thread”.
Lucie is often referred to as the golden thread in the novel because she connects many characters that otherwise would seem unrelated. For instance, she was the sole reason that Sydney Carton spoke with Charles Darnay several times after the trial. With many of the male characters being attraction to “the golden thread”, this alias could also be taken as a physical trait, which she was known for as being very beautiful. The desire to be with Lucie Manette allowed for interaction between people such as Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton that would have a strong impact on the benevolent end to a book based on the French Revolution.
Lucie’s light to the situation and compassion could have helped in the times of darkness and despair that surrounded the French Revolution. The whole story seems tragic and barbaric, but Lucie “recalling people to life” such as her father and her husband which balanced the hate and anguish of the other characters. While it may be occasionally nice to hear a nonbiased point of view in a novel, stories such as these thrive on the emotions involved with love and relationships that are a large part of the entire reason for the story. The narrator is anonymous and can be thought of as Dickens himself. The narrator is also omniscient—supplying historical context to the events that occur, but seemingly involved as merely an outsider looking in.
Understanding Lucie’s feelings about everyone and her reaction and thoughts about Sydney Carton’s sacrifice seemed important, but they were not mentioned thoroughly. Much of the reason for having stories that involve love and sacrifice in a time of greed, hatred, and chaos are to show the humanity and emotion that may seem absent from the events of the French Revolution. Very little is talked about in terms of her emotions. It was always one-sided conversations talking about how certain characters had a love for Lucie, but it was impossible to tell whether she even noticed that person. Sydney Carton was one of those people, and even in his final sacrifice in giving his life for a person that he loathed for Lucie’s sake, much of her feelings of gratitude, admiration, and newfound esteem in Carton were not mentioned.
Lucie Manette’s powerful influence on all of the other characters could have been more closely relatable, had she been the narrator. With her role as “the golden thread” she seems an obvious choice for the person to tell the story because she is the person to bring the story together. Putting the novel in Lucie’s point of view with her tone may have significantly changed the readers’ opinions of the novel because of the humanity found within the story about the French Revolution.
View Full Essay