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Doppleganger Effect

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 04:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 72 
  • Words: 822
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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens begins the novel with oxymorons.   “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”   (7).   This beginning of the first paragraph is a great way to begin a book full of doubles and a Doppelganger effect since the words contradict each other just like the different doubles and parallels in this book.   Contradicting characters are not only presented, places are as well.   Five different parallels or twins in this book consist of Darnay vs. Evrémonde, Darnay vs. Mr. Manette, “sane” Mr. Manette vs. “insane” Mr. Manette, John Barsad vs. Pross, and London vs. Paris.

An example of the Doppelganger effect is the fact that Charles Darnay and Charles Evrémonde are/is the same exact person.   When Charles Darnay moves to England, he changes his last name since he doesn’t like to be carried with the name.   He is a double character given that in England – he’s known as Charles Darnay, but in France – he’s known as Charles Evrémonde.   “A man with a bloated face opened the strong wicket, to whom Defarge presented ‘The Emigrant Evrémonde’” (259).  

Although this is true, Darnay has another double – Mr. Manette.   Mr. Manette and Darnay were both two men that were imprisoned unfairly; though not at the same time.   Mr. Manette was imprisoned by the Marquis, Charles Darnay’s uncle, because Mr. Manette tried to report the Marquis’ and his brother’s evil treatment of the poor family.   But the Marquis threw him in the Bastille for a dreadful 18 years.   Mr. Manette went crazy in there and over time believed he was a shoemaker, but was later “resurrected” by Mr. Lorry and Lucie.   Darnay was imprisoned in France just because he was an emigrant, someone who leaves one country to settle in another.

Not only was Mr. Manette a double to Charles, but to himself as well.   Mr. Manette swaps from the insane Mr. Manette (that believes he’s a lady’s shoemaker) and the sane Mr....


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