Death comes to everyone and when a person is near death, they can show their true emotions and be seen for who they really are. The greatest example of a person dying in a heroic manner is Jesus who laid down his life for us. In both Uncle Tom's Cabin and A Tale of Two Cities, one of the main characters dies, each in a different way, but both are Christ-like in that they lay down their lives for others. In Uncle Tom's Cabin, Tom dies from being beaten after refusing to tell his master where Cassy and Emmeline, two fellow slaves, had run. In A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton dies for Charles Darnay as a final act to show that he really is a good person. In both of their scenarios, the characters were not afraid of death, and accepted it as the best path for them. Being willing and ready to die, as Carton and Tom were, makes one able to look beyond their immediate situation, help others they come into contact with, and influence those around them.
Both Carton and Tom understood that they were dying for an unjust reason because of a corrupt political system, yet they were still able to cope with death and face it peacefully. Because of his Christian faith, Tom has a hope beyond this life and trusts that God's purposes will be accomplished in this situation. Carton, who is not clearly a Christian, has hope for a future described in the scene following his death. As Dickens tells us, if Carton had given any utterance, he would have said, "I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous, and happy" (Dickens 389). He sees this along with many other things which he describes to see improving in the future. Knowledge, hope, and trust for a better future in death is one of the greatest aspects for a heroic, Christ like, death.
Being willing and able to die is also important because, rather than panicking and focusing on oneself, it makes one able to help others before and during death.