A Tale of Two Cities – Passage Analysis

A Tale of Two Cities – Passage Analysis
Sample Response – Level 4+
The passage depicts the encounter between Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton after the
trial. Charles has just been acquitted of false treason charges. Carton was of great
assistance in this dismissal because it was noted that he resembled Darnay so much that
the witnesses’ testimonies were not reliable enough to condemn Darnay. Follownig the
trial, the men ventured off to a local tavern where Carton began to drink. The passge
shows a drunk Sydney Carton revealing his self-conscious, self-loathing feelings to
Darnay, who Cartno envies and admires for he is a better, more successful version of
himself. When Darnay leaves, Carton further exposes himself by talking to himself in the
mirror and explaining that there is nothing to like about him.
This passage reveals the character foil between Darnay and Carton. It shows that
although they are similar in appearance, they are polar opposites in personality. Carton is
seen as a self-conscious, unsuccessful and pitiful drunk. On the other hand, Darnay is
seen as a proper gentleman who is successful, considerate, and acts appropriately in
social situations. The plot is developed through the contrast that is established between
these two characters, as the reader now predicts a conflict between them. It precedes
further interaction between the two characters. The conflict may particularly pertain to to
their love for Lucie Manette, which Carton reveals when he refers to “those blue eyes”.
Overall, the passage is significant because the characters and plot are beginning to tie
together, leading to further significant events.