Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

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In society today, all people determine their lifestyle, personality and overall character by

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both positive and negative traits that they hold. Sydney Carton in Charles Dickens’ A Tale

of Two Cities was a drunken lawyer who had an extremely low self- esteem. He possesed

many negative characteristics which he used in a positive way. Carton drastically changed

his life around and became a new man.

Sydney is not the man he first appeared to be. He is first described at Darnay’s trial

as slouching and not paying attention. He is seen as a drunk who had many personal

issues. Carton feels that there is no hope for him, and that his life will never improve. He

has much more potential and could be so much more in life, yet he chooses to remain in

the shadow of others. Sydney has a dramatic life and is an alchoholic who sees nothing

positive in himself.

Carton demonstrates a sensitivity which helps others in the long run. His partner,

Mr. Stryver relaxes while Sydney works long hard hours to prepare the defense materials

for the following days. Carton does most of Stryvers work, he is a man of great talent but

lacks the character traits that would make those talents work to his own advantage instead

of others that he helps. He always use to be satisfied with faling into his rank and never did

anything to attempt to change his life. He further destroys himself with drinking and

although he is not satisfied with his life now, he feels that he cannot do anything to change

it. Sydney’s love for Lucie Manette changed him greatly in a positive way. One day

when Sydney visited the Manette residence he called on Lucie and pledged his love to her.

After hearing this, Lucie feels nothing but compassion for Carton. He asked nothing more

of Lucie than to always remember how deeply he cared for her, and that he would make

any sacrifice to her or anyone dear to her. Lucie was the main reason for bringing out the

new , more positve Sydney Carton. He now looked at things with a more positive attitude

and a new personal strength was seen in his later actions.

Carton’s final act in this novel shows what a brave man he was and he acts upon

his true love for Lucie. After the second arrest of Charles Darnay, Carton urges Dr.

Manette to attempt to use his influence to free Charles. When Carton is speaking with

little Lucie, Charles and Lucie’s daughter, she begs him to do something to save her

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