A Tale of Two Cities
Synthesis Essay on the Theme of Sacrifice 12th Grade
In Western literature, sacrifice is often regarded as a noble act because it invokes the powerful image of Christ's death. Many writers throughout history have used this familiar association to reprimand the prevalence of selfishness in the human society. As a whole, mankind sees sacrifice solely as a giving and selfless deed. In truth, the act of sacrifice often procures unexpected and valuable rewards in return, as observed in the masterful works of Bronte, Shakespeare, and Dickens. In Jane Eyre, Bronte commends Jane for renouncing desires to protect principles by rewarding the heroine generously at the end. Meanwhile, the prince’s martyrdom in Shakespeare's Hamlet acquires the tragic hero clarity of sight in return. And lastly in A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens entirely elevates the ideal of sacrifice in Sydney Carton's Christ-like death as a noble means to achieve life.
By sacrificing her only love in the name of her principles, Jane Eyre is rewarded with a family and her independence. Prior to the anticipated wedding, Rochester reveals his crafty plan for Jane after their marriage, “...I shall seek a cave in one of the white valleys among the volcano-tops, and mademoiselle shall live with me there and only me” (Bronte 272)....
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