A Tale of Two Cities Character Analysis

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A Tale of Two Cities Character Analysis
Charles Darnay
At the beginning of the novel, the innocent Charles Darnay is being tried in England at the Old Bailey for
treason. Sydney Carton gets him acquitted, and he meets Dr. Manette and Lucie Manette, who reluctantly
testified against him. He falls in love with Lucie and marries her, but he has to tell her father his secret: He is
of the same French aristocratic family that imprisoned Dr. Manette. Darnay is determined not to continue the
cruelty practiced by his ancestors but to treat people with compassion. Later, Darnay is imprisoned in Paris
for being an aristocrat despite having renounced his title. Saved by Dr. Manette, he is rearrested—this time
for murders committed by his father—and saved from the guillotine by Sydney Carton.
Sydney Carton
Sydney Carton, a lawyer who drinks heavily, happens to look enough like Charles Darnay that he saves
Darnay from trumped-up treason charges. He becomes reluctant friends with Darnay because he is in love
with Lucie Manette, but he knows he cannot have her. Carton's failing is that he has such terrible self-esteem
that a simple friendship with Lucie is not enough to help him change his life for the better. But his love for
Lucie is so strong that he vows to do anything for those she loves, so that she can have a good life. In the
end, he sacrifices his life to save her husband from the guillotine.
Lucie Manette
At the beginning of the novel, Lucie is only 17 and has been told by Mr. Lorry, her guardian and adviser,
that her father, whom she believes dead, has been released from the Bastille and is living in a garret in Paris.
She brings him back to London to live with her. As the novel progresses, Lucie is the "golden thread" who
ties together nearly all the other characters. She marries Charles Darnay, becomes friends with Lorry, and is
loved unreservedly by Sydney Carton. Her goodness and her connection to Darnay make her a target for
Madame Defarge, though Ernest Defarge believes she should be spared. Miss Pross is jealous of anyone
who takes her away and yet will also do anything for her. And Dr. Manette considers her his angel of mercy.
Dr. Manette
When the story begins, Dr. Manette is a frail former prisoner who can do nothing but make shoes all day
long. He is rescued by his daughter, Lucie, and once he is living with her, becomes a stable, loving father
and solid friend—unless something reminds him of his time in prison. Even though Darnay is the nephew of
the man who imprisoned him, Dr. Manette accepts Darnay into his family for Lucie's sake. He is willing to
fight for Darnay's life, using every connection he has to save him from prison and certain death.
Mr. Jarvis Lorry
Mr. Jarvis Lorry is the one who discovers that Dr. Manette is actually alive and has survived his
imprisonment in the Bastille. As the financial adviser to the family and Lucie's guardian for financial
purposes, Lorry tries to keep their relationship professional. However, he can't help but get personally
involved, and his ability to do business in both London and Paris gives him leeway to go above and beyond
the call of duty for Lucie, Darnay, Carton, and Dr. Manette. His messenger even serves as a sort of guide
and guard for Miss Pross, Lucie's governess. For Mr. Lorry, the Manette family and all who are connected
with them are like family
Monsieur Defarge
At the beginning of the novel, Monsieur Defarge seems to be an ally of Dr. Manette, his one-time employer.
Defarge has stepped forward to give the doctor a safe place to stay after he is released from the Bastille. He
also helps Lucie and Lorry take Dr. Manette out of the garret above the shop and get him out of Paris.
However, as a leader of the revolutionaries, Monsieur Defarge cannot simply stand by and allow Charles
Darnay to come back to Paris without any consequences, regardless of the fact that he is now Dr. Manette's
son-in-law. Defarge is one of the people who denounces Darnay in court and brings forth Dr. Manette's
letter denouncing Darnay as well. He stops short of being thoroughly vindictive, however, by saying he
thinks it enough to punish only Darnay, not his wife and child.
Madame Defarge
Madame Defarge is admirably strong in her determination to fight for the revolution, but she is also
vindictive and cruel. Once crossed, she has no mercy whatsoever. She stands by saying almost nothing and
knitting, but she is the one who ultimately decides if someone will be executed or not, knitting that person's
name into the long, otherwise purposeless piece of fabric she creates. Anyone connected with the aristocracy
in any way is an enemy of hers, and anyone connected with the death of her family is condemned to die.
A former servant of Charles Darnay, Gabelle is imprisoned for working for the
aristocracy.
A peasant whose child is killed by the Marquis, Gaspard murders the Marquis out of
Gaspard
revenge.
Jacques is a code name used by French revolutionaries for any man who is a
Jacques
revolutionary.
Jerry Cruncher Jerry Cruncher is a messenger for Tellson's Bank and a grave robber.
John Barsad is the alias of Solomon Pross (the long-lost brother of Miss Pross) and a spy.
John Barsad
Little Lucie is Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette's young daughter.
Little Lucie
The mender of One of the peasants who works on the Marquis's lands, the mender of roads eventually
joins the revolutionaries.
roads
Miss Pross, Lucie Manette's governess, is jealous of anyone who gets too close to Lucie
Miss Pross
but will do anything for her.
Monseigneur is the name Dickens gives to any unnamed powerful aristocrat; the
Monseigneur
Monseigneur embodies the decadence, ostentation, and superficiality of the nobility.
Mr. Stryver is the lawyer who defends Charles Darnay when he is up for treason in
Mr. Stryver
England.
Roger Cly is an English spy who fakes his own death.
Roger Cly
Charles Darnay's uncle, the Marquis St. Evrémonde, is a cruel and heartless French
The Marquis
aristocrat who is also a rapist and murderer.
The seamstress is condemned to die and makes her journey to the gallows alongside
The seamstress
Sydney Carton.
The Vengeance is a woman who knits—and fights—alongside Madame Defarge; she
The Vengeance
beats the drum that calls the woman revolutionaries to battle.
Young Jerry is Jerry Cruncher's young son.
Young Jerry
Gabelle
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