Welcome to my third post in this giveaway series. If you want to read about what I (and my blog readers) are most desperate to find out in the Clockwork Princess, you can read that here, and get an extra entry!
Today, I'm going to talk about Charles Dickens. Wait, come back! This is interesting.
On Cassandra Clare's blog, a reader asked her specifically about the parallels between The Infernal Devices series and A Tale of Two Cities. Here's what she said:
Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations are my favorite Dickens books, and Clockwork Princess was always meant to be a loose retelling of Tale of Two Cities.
Well, that's not good. I read A Tale of Two Cities back in high school, and I know that -- very long story short -- it's about two guys in love with the same girl, and one of them sacrifices his life for the other.
There are LOTS of ToTC references through the Infernal Devices series. In the book, both alcoholic lawyer Sydney Carton and French aristocrat Charles Darnay are in love with Lucie Manette. Darnay is sentenced to be guillotined and Carton, who strongly resembles Darnay, dies in his place.
In The Clockwork Angel:
Tessa asks Will if he has a copy of A Tale of Two Cities. Will: "That silly thing? Men going around getting their heads chopped off for love? Ridiculous."
When Tessa is nervous about impersonating Camille, Will says:
"Sometimes, when I have to do something I don't want to do, I pretend I'm a character from a book." Then Will quotes Sydney Carton's dying words: "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done."Then Will tells Tessa that Sydney Carton loved Lucie "enough to know that she was better off without him."
In The Clockwork Prince:
Will tells Tessa that he re-read the book and "there is too much of despair in it … There is no future for Sydney … with or without love."
After returning from the visit with Starkweather, Tessa wants to read A Tale of Two Cities, but "was afraid that picking it up would make her think of [Will], and make the weight of her nervousness greater. After all, it was never Darnay he quoted, only Sydney, drunk and wrecked and dissipated. Sydney, who died for love."
When Tessa and Jem go into Will's room, she finds all her letters to her brother tucked inside Will's copy of A Tale of Two Cities.
But does the fact that Will seems to identify himself with Sydney Carton mean that he's doomed? I'm not so sure. You could argue that Jem is also sick and wrecked and dissipated and without hope. Maybe he's the one who makes the sacrifice for love. Plus, there's this whole parabatai business. Since I haven't read all the Mortal Instruments books, I'm not sure I understand every aspect of that, so maybe we should discuss that in my next post.
For now, do you think that either Will or Jem has to die in The Clockwork Princess? Tell me what you think…
If you have not read the book, there may the spoilers for the first two books in the comments -- beware!
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