A Tale of Two Cities


Book 2, Chapter 20

After Darnay and Lucie return to Soho, Carton comes to visit them.  Though Carton and Darnay have had an uneasy friendship up to this point, Carton clearly feels remorse about how he has treated Darnay.  Carton apologizes to Darnay about how he has treated him, and asks that they be friends.  Darnay accepts his apology without any fuss.  The two men agree that Carton can continue to visit the Darnay family.  However, after Carton departs, the reader actually witnesses one of the few cracks in Darnay’s polite façade:  He speaks very negatively about Carton and his irresponsibility to Lucie.  Lucie does not agree with her husband; instead, she chastises Darnay for speaking negatively of Carton. This exchange makes it clear that Lucie sees more potential in Carton than what the other characters witness.  Of course, Carton will eventually reveal himself to be the most giving character in the novel, fulfilling a selfless promise he made to Lucie, and that she chose to believe, rather than dismissing it because of how he acts with other people.

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