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    Existentialist hero Essay (993 words)

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    After Lucie and Charles get married, Carton’s behavior declines and he is back to his old self. “I know how well you have no tenderness in me” and “I shall sink lower”. This shows Carton relies on alcohol to relieve his pain of knowing Lucie will never lover him nor marry him. It also shows that he is jealous of Charles and reminds himself he could have been just like him. Carton then decides to dedicate his life to protecting Lucie and her family, this is what you call spiritual love. This is shown when he quotes “there is a man would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you”. This shows you how dramatically Carton has changed; he now cares for people and is willing to risk his life for others.

    During the middle stages of the French revolution, the peasants’ of France flocked the streets of Paris and killed all the aristocrats, their servants and friends. In the process all the Evremend’s were killed except for one, Charles Darnay. Madame deFarge who deeply hates the Everamand’s because they brought her family to their deaths. She invents a plan to bring Charles back to France so they can execute him. Madame deFarge and her circle of friends capture Darnay’s old mentor and force him to write a letter that he is in grave danger and needs help as soon as possible. Charles, who is unaware of goings in France hastily returns to France, to find his old mentor dead. He is then put on trial for the sins of his ancestors. During the trial Dr Manette convinces the jury Charles in innocent, but Madame deFarge who has a strong influence on the jury convinces them Charles is guilty.

    Darnay is then sent to “death within forty eight hours”. Lucie and her family are in great despair, her father returns to his mental state of making shoes and Lucie doesn’t know how she can life her live without Charles. Mr. Lorry who is a hard headed businessman, starts to weep, and Lucie’s maid is also deeply miserable. Sydney Carton, who can’t bear to watch Lucie suffering, thinks of a plan and shares it with Mr. Lorry who is given strict instructions. Carton then goes to the prison where Charles is held and meets Barsad the spy. He bribes Barsad and convinces him to take him inside the prison, he does this with success.

    Inside the prison he meets with Charles and drugs him, Charles falls into a deep state of sleep while Carton dresses as Charles. When the warden comes in to check he decides it’s time Carton leaves, because Charles is asleep Barsad tells the warden he is drunk and they both carry Charles out of prison. From there Charles is taken back home in the morning where the carriage is set to leave France. And in place of Charles, Carton goes to the guillotine where he is ferociously killed.

    Why did Sydney do it? This is a difficult question as there are various answers to it, some right and some wrong. One of the main reason he sacrificed himself is because he wanted happiness for others and to gain their respect, especially Lucie and her family. “I see lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy”. This shows he is prophetic as he is not imagining the future but seeing it. It also shows us he has now changed from what he was at the start from the novel, a nihilistic unloving man to a man who has found a reason to live and has found a meaning to life through love.

    He gives his life up, to make up for his previous bad acts. This is shown during his final moments of his life when he “see’s her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name”. This quotation enforces my point that he is prophetic and knows by sacrificing himself, others will be happy and that his name will live on and be respected by others for years to come in Lucie’s family. He also finally has a reason to his life, for which he has been searching all his life, this is what you call an existentialist hero.

    One other main reason he sacrifices himself is to find peace in his troubled life. This is shown after he is viciously killed and “they said of him, about that city that night, that it was the peacefullest man’s face ever beheld there”. This shows he thinks what he did was right and that there is no need to look back, but into the future, which is his afterlife in which he now believes in. It also shows he thinks he will go to heaven; a place he thought never existed till he met Lucie. The fourth reason I have, is that he gave his life to find a meaning in it. “I see the lives I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy” He finds out at his meaning of life was to help Lucie and her family and in the process help him become a better man. This also strengthens my idea that he is an existentialist hero who has finally found a meaning to his life.

    In conclusion I think this novel was great, it showed us how the peasants in France were treated and how they gathered confidence to fight back, but brought the country to a “reign of terror”. It also showed me what the power of love could change someone and also a whole community. I have also learnt from Carton that it’s never too late to change. Towards the end of the novel Carton finally learns there is a meaning to life, love. Carton who at the start of the novel was a lonely, drunk and nihilistic man becomes a respected, loved and peaceful man during the last parts of the novel.

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