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Religious Connotations of A Tale of Two Cities Many individuals base their lives on their religious beliefs and Charles Dickens explains his religious beliefs in A Tale of Two Cities Dickens uses spiritual allusions in his novel as evidence by James Weigals commentary If the terrors of the revolution take a political form the hope that Dickens holds out in this novel have distinct religious qualities 16 Charles Dickens manifests his religious views through symbolism references to sacraments and the themes of resurrection and personal sacrifice First Dickens uses many symbols throughout the novel to explore his religious views His belief in traditional Christianity is characterized by many references Dickens refers to many characters throughout the novel as allusions to Jesus Christ In London Jerry Cruncher a resurrection man with the same initials of Jesus Christ performs a parody of the Easter story when he digs up Clys grave only to find the tomb empty Davis 380 Through his account of Crunchers actions Dickens affirms his belief in Christs victory over death by rising from the tomb after his crucifixion A second reference to Jesus Christ is displayed through Sydney Carton There are instances in the story where Carton quotes Jesus Christ An example is before he dies by the guillotine and meditates on the biblical promise I am the resurrection and the life saith the Lord he that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me sh all never die Davis 380 When Carton dies he is re-enacting figuratively the expiatory death of Christ Weigal 16 because the themes of the two stories Christs crucifixion and Cartons execution are so similar Another symbol used in the novel is the guillotine The revolutionaries believe that the guillotine-the symbol of unpitying vengeance - replaces the cross - the symbol of redeeming love - on every breast Alter 19 Both the guillotine and cross were
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