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Trace the importance of duty and loyalty as demonstrated by at least three characters in the novel. Loyalty and duty is one of the main themes in “A Tale of Two Cities”. Dickens examines this theme on many different levels, looking at both the loyalty and duty involved in the characters’ personal relationships and their loyalty to certain causes or beliefs. Many of the characters in the book make great sacrifices due to loyalty on a national level or personal level. Lucie Manette shows great dedication and loyalty to her father, Dr.
Manette. Though she once believed she was an orphan, when Lucie meets with her father she is unable to part with him. She looks after him and as the “golden thread” is able to bring him back to health and lovingly take care of him thereafter. Miss Pross, her nursemaid tells Mr. Lorry how Lucie had to persevere and showed tremendous devotion when she was nursing her father back to health “He gets up in the dead of night… She hurries to him and they go on together until her love and company have brought him to himself.
” (p94) She even says she is willing to avert her marriage plans despite her love for Darnay because she loves her father and does not want to leave him “If my marriage were so arranged as that it would part us… I should be more unhappy and self-reproachful now than I can tell you. ” (p180) Lucie sees it her duty as a daughter to look after Dr. Manette and throughout the book she demonstrates her loyalty to him “She had been true to her duties. She was truest to them in the season of trial, as all the quietly loyal and good always will be. ” (p264)
Lucie also shows loyalty when her husband, Darnay is imprisoned. Throughout his imprisonment, Lucie goes to stand outside the prison for two hours each day hoping that her husband will be able to see her. “In all weathers she waited… she never missed a single day. ” She is also loyal to Carton who professes his love for her. She makes sure that he is welcome in her home and that he is treated with respect despite his reputation and bad habits. She tells Darnay to “Remember how strong we are in our happiness, and how weak he is in his misery!
“. At the end of the book Carton sacrifices his life in order to save Darnay. Lucie honours him even after his death by naming her son after him. Darnay himself shows loyalty to his old steward, Gabelle. Gabelle is imprisoned in France due to his relationship with the Evri?? monde family and he so he writes to Darnay appealing to his “Justice, honour, and good name. ” (p233) Darnay’s sense of duty and responsibility forbids him to turn his back on Gabelle or on his country.
He is unaware of how dangerous it will be for him in Paris and idealistically, he even believes that he may be able to calm some of the violence. Eventually, like a ship may be drawn to the Loadstone Rock, he decides to go to Paris and fulfil what he believes is his duty. Miss Pross is brusque, tough, and fiercely loyal to Lucie, her “Ladybird”. Mr Lorry admires her for being so humble and for adoring Lucie so much that she would do anything for her. He talks of Miss Pross being “One of those unselfish creatures…
who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves,” (p92) At the beginning of the book, Miss Pross says that she will never go abroad “If it was ever intended that I should go across salt water, do you suppose Providence would have cast my lot in an island. ” (p30). However, when Darnay goes secretly to France and Lucie hears of his imprisonment, Miss Pross accompanies her to France. She overcomes her fear of travelling out of loyalty to Lucie.