“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
Many of us who have graduated from an orthodox Jewish high school have to supplement our classical reading a bit after the fact. The reason that a classic stays popular enough for us to want to read it for fun, is because there are immortal themes that any generation can relate to.
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a book that we all have heard of and many have read. As a typical Dickens book, it is longwinded and emotional. The story revolves around a cast of characters that are deeply affected by the French Revolution. As a historical fiction, it is easier to identify with, since we are not expected to know the historical background of Dickens.
The book portrays the revolution against aristocrats as a ruthless senseless movement. They did not care that the protagonist Charles Darnay is not a typical aristocrat. They did not care that he rejected the cruel ways of his uncle. It did not matter that he was a good man. They did not stop the tirade against him, even though he had a family who relied on him. Innocence did not matter.
The most moving part of the story is the unbelievable sacrifice of Sydney Carton, the man who allowed Darnay to run away to live his life in peace. He takes Darnay’s place in prison, and goes to the guillotine without once regretting his selfless act. We are reminded that people like Sydney Carton are the people who need to be remembered, the people who will never have children to carry on their name for them.
Think of a person who has sacrificed their life for another. Think of a person who went against senseless violence, or senseless hatred. Think of someone whose name should be remembered. Share the name with us so that we can remember them together.