Character Analysis Sydney Carton


Carton, Darnay's double and alter-ego, has wasted his life on alcohol and apathy. He makes his intelligence obvious through his ability to analyze cases for Stryver. He makes clear that he had the same opportunities for success as Stryver, but for some reason chose not to take them. Besides some vague references to his student days and the disclosure that his parents died when he was young, Carton's past remains a mystery to the reader. Consequently, the reader can only guess at what caused him to become so dissolute. The only noble part of his life is his love for Lucie and his affection for the rest of her family. His love for her is strong enough to induce him to give his life for that of her husband. Carton takes on a mythical aspect in sacrificing himself to save his friends. He represents the sacrificial hero who is ritually slaughtered of his own free will so that society might renew itself, a prospect he envisions before he dies. Through his death, he redeems his sins and is reborn in the afterlife and through the life of his namesake.