A Tale of Two Cities: Sydney Carton vs. Charles Darnay

Topics: A Tale of Two Cities, Hero, Charles Dickens Pages: 2 (660 words) Published: October 8, 1999
A Tale of Two Cities, written by Charles Dickens, takes place during the French Revolution. The book centers on the heroic attempts of Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay. Sydney Carton puts on the façade of being insolent and indifferent, but his true nature is expressed in the book when he puts others first, defends Charles, and dies for the ones he loves. Charles Darnay is a once wealthy aristocrat whose attempts at heroism include going back to France, his financial sacrifice, and the noble way in which he was willing to face his death.

Sydney Carton is a true hero in the way that he puts others first. He shows this quality as he works for Stryver to save the wrongfully accused from death and when he goes back to France to try to help put a stop the bloodshed. Carton has a better perspective on the situation in France as opposed to Charles Darnay. Darnay also possesses worthy heroic qualities. However, the reader could interpret a misuse of them. Darnay's return to France to save Gabelle and help save the peasants was very notable, but probably not the most intelligent act to make. The revolutionaries of France were known to try to trick aristocrats into coming back to murder them. Darnay could have been walking into his death.

Darnay's financial sacrifice was also note-worthy, but once again not very intelligent. Darnay renounced his aristocracy and sacrificed the wealth that went along with it in favor of helping those in need. A reader might have thought it more appropriate when interpreting this book for Darnay to have owned up to his aristocratic name and attempted to change the government's problems, despite the problems that it caused him. It is true that Darnay was tried numerous times for treason. He was, however, acquitted more than once with the help of Carton.

An example includes Darnay's first trial where Carton forced the jury to realize that it was impossible to prove that Darnay was a passenger on the Dover Mail. He...
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