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Sacrificial Love: Essay on A Tale of Two Cities

Jesus stated in the Bible, “ Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Most people in the world would refuse to do this action of sacrificial love. But some people would not hesitate to lay down their life for a friend. For example, many missionaries, when faced with the prospect of death for their friends would humanely sacrifice themselves in order that their friend might survive. But, the greatest sacrificial action that has ever been done in history, is when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross, so that the sins of humankind may be forgiven. In Charles Dicken’s book, A Tale of Two Cities, one of the characters, Sydney Carton, gives up his life for another. Sydney Carton is a true friend because of the different things he did for the Manette/Darnay family.

One of the very first things that Sydney Carton did was before he even became friends with Charles Darnay. In a furtive way, he saved him from an execution when an indictment stated that he was a British spy. Because he and Darnay look similar, he inquired that maybe the spy was him and not Darnay. In light of this ingenious statement, the court lets Darnay go free. This was one of the many things that Sydney Carton did for Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette.

After this incident, Charles fell in love with Lucie. Over the next couple of years, they began to know each other better. This upset Sydney Carton because he had wanted to marry Lucie. Sydney was invited to Charles and Lucie’s wedding because Charles was grateful to Sydney for saving his life at the trial and by putting himself in danger for him. Even though Sydney was a little bit upset at Charles for taking Lucie, he is able to evince that he will protect Lucie’s happiness even unto death. Sydney Carton is showing unselfishness by being kind to Charles and Lucie even though he didn’t get what he wanted.

The greatest of the things that Sydney did for the Darnay family was to sacrifice his life for Charles. After Charles had been taken prisoner by the Revolutionaries, Dr. Mannete (Lucie’s father) worked tirelessly to free Charles. However, it was not to be. Charles was condemned to death on the next day. Sydney decided to save Charles by going to the prison and switching places with him. After some bribes and trades, Sydney gets into prison and drugs Charles because he disparaged the plan. Charles is carried out and on the next day, Sydney
Carton was beheaded at the Guillotine in place of Charles. This was a huge sacrifice for Sydney Carton to accomplish because he gave up his life so that another could live.

In the book, it is construable that Sydney Carton is an ideal friend because he did many things for his own friends. By saving Charles from the jury, he was putting himself in danger for Charles. By promising to always protect the happiness of Lucie, he forced himself to sacrifice his life for Charles. By sacrificing his life, he was fulfilling the promise that he gave to Lucie. Sometimes, sacrificing something for another could be an extremely hard action to undertake. But giving up the life that God has given in order to save another person is the best kind of sacrifice. So, having a sacrificial attitude could be essential to saving another person’s life or soul.

3 thoughts on “Sacrificial Love: Essay on A Tale of Two Cities”

  1. A Tale of Two Cities is a very difficult book to write about, and you did a great job on it. Your scripture reference and details really make this an excellent paper.

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