Summary and Analysis
Book 2: Chapter 11
The same night that Darnay makes his declaration to Doctor Alexandre Manette, Stryver tells Carton that he has decided to marry Lucie. Stryver feels that he is doing Lucie a favor by making her his wife; she is not rich, but she is "a charming creature"who will make a nice home for him. After describing how eligible and attractive he is to women, Stryver chastises Carton for making himself so unattractive to women. He recommends that Carton find himself a wife to take care of him, all the while missing the sarcasm in Carton's replies.
As the title of the chapter ("A Companion Picture") suggests, the scene between Stryver and Carton mirrors the scene between Darnay and Doctor Manette. Whereas Darnay was respectful, humble, and sincere in his discussion with the Doctor, Stryver is pompous, self-absorbed, and obnoxious. Stryver's views of marriage represent the traditional Victorian view of marriage, as something done for practical reasons. Darnay's desire to wed Lucie stems from a more idealized, romantic viewpoint. He loves Lucie and only wants her to marry him if she loves him as well.