Coincidence – “ An accidental , but seemingly planned occurrence of events at the same time” (Webster’s Dictionary, 117). Charles Dickens used many coincidences throughout A Tale Of Two Cities to connect everything and everyone together in some way.
Dickens believed in interrelation and connections between people. In this book, similar looks and relations between characters give examples of coincidences. “Something especially reckless in his demeanour, not only gave him a disreputable look, but so diminished the strong resemblance he undoubtedly bore to the prisoner” (A Tale of Two Cities, 80).
Dickens uses Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton’s similar looks as an example of a coincidence.
Because of their similar looks, Darnay, ended up innocent in the first trial. This gives an example of a coincidence because if Carton never went to the trial, Darnay might have gone to prison. This greatly effects the story because Darnay proved innocent which allowed him to fall in love with Lucie Manette and marry her, and to become friends with Sydney Carton.
Without Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay’s life would have ended.
In book III, Darnay was going to get killed in France by the guillotine. However, Carton took his place and got away with it because of how much they looked alike. This example depicts a coincidence because if they didn’t meet in the first place, Darnay would end up dead. Carton saves Darnay’s life two times and it greatly effects the outcome of the story.
Darnay’s relation to the Marquis also describes a coincidence. The Marquis lives in France and lives as an Aristocrat.Darnay is the Marquis’ nephew. The Marquis put Dr.
Manette in prison for 18 years, and Dr. Manette hates the Marquis for putting him in prison that long and keeping him away from his family. Darnay and Dr. Manette become close friends and Darnay feels guilty for what his uncle did.
This relation also describes a coincidence because Lucie Manette marries the man closely related to the man who put her father in Prison. This shows how everything comes together and relates. “‘Oh Solomon, dear Solomon! cried Miss Pross, clapping her hands again. ‘After not setting eyes upon you or hearing of you for so long a time, do I find you here! ’” (299).
Miss Pross coincidentally sees her brother, Solomon at a wine shop in France. Miss Pross has not seen her brother in years and she finally finds him. But, she doesn’t know that he actually goes by the name of John Barsad. This describes a coincidence because Madame Defarge wanted to kill John Barsad.
Defarge knitted his name on her hit list.Also, if Miss Pross didn’t notice Barsad he could not have helped Carton in saving Darnay from the guillotine and getting killed. Darnay and Carton’s life would have ended up in grave danger if John Barsad wouldn’t have helped. A Tale of Two Cities contains many examples of coincidences.
Dickens used similarity in looks and relation between characters to show coincidences. This book gives reason to how small the world really appears and how everything in life pieces together somehow.
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