Throughout the book, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, the theme of sacrifice is used to help the reader realize the cost of life, as well as to develop the plot through the effects of those sacrifices. Through the characters of Miss Pross, Dr. Manette, and Sydney Carton the theme of sacrifice is developed.
Miss Pross was sacrificing her life day by day for Lucie to have a better life. Miss Pross devotes her life and her well being to Lucie, which is shown when Mr. Lorry describes Miss Pross’s devotion, “there is nothing better in the world than the faithful service of the heart; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint” (87). Miss Pross sacrifices things everyday by simply being devoted to Lucie. She did everything she could so that Lucie could have the best possible life. Miss Pross sacrifices her hopes and dreams so that Lucie might have her own hopes and dreams fulfilled. Miss Pross did not have all the beauty and fortune in the world, but she lived so that Lucie might have those someday. Miss Pross’s devotion is demonstrated once again when she is described as:
One of those unselfish creatures found only among women who
will for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing
Manette says, "any fancies, any reasons, and apprehensions, anything whatsoever, new or old against the man she really loved " they shall all be obliterated for her sake"(125). Carton laid down his life for a man who had never done anything for him and who in fact had abused his relationship, when Carton describes himself in Charles Darnay's view as a "dissolute dog who has never done any good, and never will"(191). Similarly Jesus Christ let himself be beaten, abused, and killed for the same people who spit in his face. By Miss Pross"tms sacrifices for Lucie, Lucie's life was saved. This level of love makes the sacrifice even more valuable and brings things to closure. Pross and Sydney Carton that allowed people to live. Other people in both cases thought that Jesus and Carton were not thought to be much more that dogs, while they both sacrificed their lives so these people who treated them poorly could live. Manette sacrifices his own life so that Lucie could fully live hers. He set aside anything in order for Lucie to marry the man she loves. Through their numerous sacrifices, the value of life is measured in A Tale of Two Cities, and their sacrifices give life to a time that was filled with much more death. Miss Pross's ultimate sacrifice of devotion was when she put her own life at risk to save Lucie's along with others, as she struggled with Madame Defarge to protect their safety. Manette also sacrifices much of his life by giving up his own personal goals and agenda for Lucie. Carton was willing to die for Lucie because of his desperate, scandalous love for her.