Sydney Carton in a Tale of Two Cities

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Sydney Carton in A tale of Two Cities

Sydney Carton is the most dynamic character in A Tale of Two Cities. He is first a lazy, alcoholic lawyer who lacks even the slightest amount of interest in his own life. He describes himself as a complete waste of a life and takes every opportunity to declare that he cares for nothing; but one can sense from the initial chapters that Carton feels something that he perhaps cannot express. In his conversation with the recently acquitted Charles Darney, Carton's comments about Lucie Manette, while extremely hateful and bitter, betray his interest and blossoming feelings about Lucie. Eventually, he reaches the point where he can admit his feelings to Lucie herself. Before Lucie is wed to Charles, Carton professes his love to her but still considers himself as worthless. This scene marks a vital transition for his character is the foundation for the sacrifice he makes at the end of the novel.

Carton's death is a predictable conclusion to a book based around the themes of (Perhaps tragedy as well?) redemption, sacrifice, and resurrection. However, the significance of Carton's death is usually interpreted in two ways (Taken from a Book Discussion chat room). Some see Carton as a Christ-like figure, a selfless man who gives his life for his beloved Lucie. Others like me however, will question the significance of Carton's last act. Since he places little value in his own life, sacrificing himself on the guillotine would be relatively easy. He had nothing to lose and thus, could have easily immortalized himself by sacrificing his "worthless life" to be remembered by the Darnays for something other than being a bitter constantly drunk man. Bibliography: None, written the day prior to the day due
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