A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens) – Sydney Carton

Sydney Carton is introduced in the book during the judgment of Charles Darney, accused of being a spy for France against England. Because of the similarity of appearance between them, the accused is declared as not guilty.

Despite the similarity, Carton knows that they are very different. Charles Darney has Lucie and her father to worry about him, but Carton is alone in the world. He is a clever lawyer, but has no success for himself. He drinks too much, is unhappy and has no friends or love from someone.


His next appearance is a visit at Lucie’s house. She will get married with Charles Darney, but Carton loves her, and tells her about it. He tells about his horrible way of living, but says that there is nothing she could do to help him, and that he will never be a good person. He doesn’t expect that she loves him back; all he wants is to see Lucie happy with her father and know that his last words of love were told to her.

When Charles Darney is in danger in France, Carton goes there without the knowledge of Lucie and her father, who were also there. He found out that Miss Pross’s brother was a spy, and uses it against him to get his help with something that he is planning.

Darney is condemned to die by Guillotine, and after a last kiss on her husband, Lucie fell down on the floor, unconscious. Carton was there and before he leaves he kisses Lucie on her face. Then, he starts to put his plan in action.

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Because of Lucie, her father and daughter are in danger staying in France. Carton asks Mr. Lorry to let prepared a coach to take them on the next day, and also says that they can not leave without him. He goes to the prison, speaks with Darney, makes him write a note, uses a cloth to let Darney unconscious, and changes clothes with him. The spy who was helping him takes Darney’s body to the coach, where they think he is Sydney and that he is sad about his friend that will die. The coach leaves France with all Lucie’s family in safety.

Before Carton’s death on the Guillotine, a girl recognizes that he is not Darney, and she gets so impressed about the courage of that man that will die in his place. He dies with a peaceful expression on his face, thinking about the future consequences in Lucie’s family after his act of love.

Sydney Carton is the real hero in this story, and that is why he is my favorite character. Everything he did was for the love he felt for Lucie. He was able to wish her happiness above anything else, even if that means seeing her married with another person. After all he did, we can see that he was wrong in the beginning by saying he never could be a better person, because what he did proves that he was a brave, noble and sensitive man.

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