Research Paper on a Tale of Two Cities

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Formal Plot Summary
Lucie Manette is a central character in the novel. She tends to affect the characters around her in a brightening manor. For instance she mends her father’s psyche through her unconditional love. Because of her ability to affect others in a liberating sense she attracts other characters such as Stryver, Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton. She also is able to bring light to the life of family friend Jarvis Lorry. Another way Lucie is central is through her constant placement in “love triangles” the most obvious being Carton and Darnay. A second triangle she finds herself in is between Dr. Manette and Darnay. Sydney Carton is the protagonist of the novel. He dies by the blade of the guillotine to save Darnay. Carton is introduced in the beginning of the novel as an indifferent, drunkard of a lawyer. He seeks no true meaning to life or find pursuit in attaining any future goals. He is a complex character, because he ends up finding meaning, when he falls in love with Lucie Manette. He works early hours for Stryver while wearing sopping towels. He has thrown away much potential, yet he retains sympathy from people by fulfilling a promise to Lucie. Another dimension to Sydney Carton is that he is a social outcast. He has no place in the English class system. Yet, when Carton goes to Paris he becomes a new person. He finds fulfillment in life and in his death. Charles Darnay plays the role of romantic lead. He becomes the love interest and eventually the husband of Lucie. Darnay’s real name is revealed to Dr. Mannette in exchange for his daughter’s hand in marriage—his name is revealed to be St. Evremonde. Darnay is a symbol of sacrifice, when he gives up his home in France to pursue a life in England. He gives up his old privileges to become a tutor of the French language. Dr. Manette spent eighteen years in jail. To keep his mind in prison, he developed a skill in shoemaking. Dr. Manette suffers from spells of amnesia. Throughout the novel...
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