In a Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens uses “doubles” or “foils” in order to deepen the meaning of his characters. Love can be a powerful thing. It is also one of the few things that Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton have in common, their
love for Lucie Manette. Intially, Sydney Carton appears as
an unconfident, depressed and moody man. But, then he
meets Charles Darnay who unintentionally helps him feel, for a moment, confident and content with the fact that his life had a purpose.
Sydney Carton first appears as a lazy, alcoholic attortney who cannot seem to find even the smallest amount of interest in his own life. He describes his existence as a supreme waste of life, and takes every opportunity he can to declare that he cares for absolutely nothing and no one. Carton has no real prospects in life and doesn’t seem to be in pursuit of any. On page 90 it says, “Sydney Carton, idlest and most unpromising of men, was
Stryver’s great ally.” Sydney is Stryver’s right hand man, the brain’s behind all of Stryver’s operations, but somehow every time Stryver receives the credit for it. Stryver is portrayed as the successful, smart, hardworking attorney while Carton is looked at to be a moody, alcoholic with very few successes. Dickens
describes Sydney and Stryver as the Jackal and the Lion.
On page 90 it says “Sydney Carton would never be a lion, he was an amazingly good Jackal, and that he rendered suit and service to Stryver in that humble capacity.” These two animals describe the characters perfectly. A lion being strong, powerful, and not to be messed with while a Jackal is usually the prey and hides away to solve it’s problems. Instead of hiding away Sydney Carton uses alcohol to numb his emotions and problems. He’ll drink and drink and drink until nothing seems like reality and complain about how nothing seems to go his way.