The Importance of Sydney Carton in a Tale of Two Cities Essay

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The Importance of Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities In many novels characters often have leave a profound impression on readers. Each character’s presence and development often symbolises and communicates vital concepts to the reader. Charles Dickens creates the character of Sydney Carton – “a flung away, wasted, drunken, poor creature of misuse” (Dickens 159) – to communicate a theme in A Tale of Two Cities. Carton is a dynamic character who becomes a man of goodwill and great cause. Carton’s everlasting love for Lucie Darnay achieves this change. Carton’s development communicates that people can be motivated to improve themselves to prove their love for another. When Dickens first introduces Darnay and Carton introduces the reader observes Carton longing to change himself. Carton has entered Old Bailey’s courtroom to find that the accused – Darnay – and himself have identical appearances. Carton realises that although they look alike, Darnay and himself are very different. After parting ways with Darnay, Carton resentfully says to himself, “Why should you [Carton] particularly like a man who looks like you [Carton]?” (Dickens 92). This suggests that Carton is jealous that Darnay, despite being physically identical to him, is far more successful than he is. Carton’s jealousy for Darnay and admiration for Lucie begin developing when he noticed that Darnay has “a fair young lady [Lucie] to be pitied by and wept for by” (Dickens 91). Although Carton makes no visible change after this instance, he shows his admiration for Lucie and wanting to better himself. Carton is conservative towards bettering himself and showing his love for Lucie in the earlier portion of the Book the Second. Carton eventually confronts Lucie and confesses his love for her. Carton wishes “[Lucie] could have returned the love of the man [Carton] you see before yourself” (Dickens 156).

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