Minor And Major Characters In A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

823 words - 4 pages

Gabriela Gamboa
English 2A
Maffey
10 December 2013
A Tale of Two Cities
In the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, he compares many characters by including similar and contrasting characteristics between a minor character and a major character. Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton are characters who exemplify this comparison because at the beginning of the novel Carton is portrayed as a drunken, careless man while Darnay on the other hand is the example of what Carton should to be, successful, polite and respectable. While Darnay is considered a major character, he would not be anything if it wasn’t for the physically alike but characteristically different Carton.
In the beginning of the novel, Sydney Carton is introduced as the look-alike to Charles Darnay while in court because Darnay was being tried for treason. When a witness takes the stand to tell the court he had seen previously seen Darnay in England, it is brought to the attention of Darnay’s lawyer that there is someone who looks almost exactly similar and asked if he had seen anyone who looked extremely similar to him. When the witness tells him no, Carton is called and it is pointed out how he and Carton look almost alike. “So like each other in feature, so unlike each other in manner- standing side by side, both reflected in the glass above them”(79 Dickens). Because Carton had been in the court room, Darnay was acquitted. It seems as though this chapter will foreshadow the rest of the book because Carton saves Darnay by convincing the jury that they look alike. Their similar appearances will save Darnay again in the end of the book when Carton goes in place to die for him. But even throughout the book, many comparisons and contrasts are made between the two character, and example being their shared love for Lucie Manette. They both love Lucie so much, but Carton is a lot more willing to risk his life for her than Darnay is. “It is useless to say it, I know, but it rises out of my soul. For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you… think now and then that there is a man who...

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