Foil Character

Topics: A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, Charles Darnay Pages: 2 (691 words) Published: June 23, 2013
A Readers Perception of Sydney Carton

Honors English
2 November 2012

In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens he presents Sydney Carton as an irrelevant character throughout the story. Sydney Carton is first illustrated to be a careless drunk. He is an attorney who can’t find the slightest bit of interest in anything he does. In the first few chapters, Carton comments about Lucie in a bitter way which leads to his initial feelings. The revealing of his feelings to Lucie sets the fundamental transition to the ultimate sacrifice that he makes at the end of the story.

In Charles’s Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton’s function is to give the idea that people can change, even if you spend a life of wastefulness, it’s never too late to find a purpose. Initially, Carton is demonstrated as shady and pathetic; Jerry Cruncher even chooses to laugh at him. For example, he “summons no energy or purpose (95)”. Specifically, Charles Dickens emphasizes Sydney Carton’s apathy through foreshadowing, exemplified in the passage in which Carton manifest upon his hatred and jealousy towards Darnay, this shows the rivalry will make the plot intense. Lucie interprets Carton’s behavior as misunderstood because Carton, himself is motivated to reach his goal of finding purpose in life. However, by the end of the novel Carton is portrayed as a hero to save Charles’s Darnay from execution. By creating a character who resolves the conflicts that plague the story by him sacrificing himself for the person he loves. Dickens introduces the readers to the theme of inexplicableness and sacrificial decisions.

Symbolism plays a vital part in the story and understanding Sydney Carton’s character. In chapter 5, Carton’s character as a jackal, this is a person who is supposed to perform routine tasks for another. Carton is described as an amazingly good jackal. He is disappointed in himself because he understands he won’t be recognized for his performances. Carton’s motive...
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