Foils In Charles Dickens A Tale Of Two Cities

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” (1) This opening line has set a precedent for foils in literature for decades to come. The use of a foil is meant to draw attention to a character’s flaws therefore making an opposing character’s strengths more visible. This novel exemplifies foiling through characters such as Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay, as well as the settings. It is for these reasons Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities, as a whole, works as a foil. Sydney Carton is first introduced as an alcoholic lawyer without many morals. He cares for very little, and could effortlessly be compared to Scrooge from A Christmas Carol. Carton states “ I care for no man on Earth, and no man on Earth cares for me.” (81) This quote appears to give the reader a sense of sympathy. As a man in roughly his mid-twenties, having no family, friends, or relationships is a quite pitiful way of life. Considering he is not a homely person his lack of marriage can be directly related to Charles Darnay.When his true feelings for Lucie Manette are later revealed it is made clear that his…show more content…
The two men bare a strong physical resemblance as a result of their prominent dark hair, and facial features. It is the way in which they carry themselves that sets them apart. Carton is considered to be a lazy, sloppy, day-dreamer because of his less than dapper apparel and tendency to keep his hands in pockets. Darnay, however, is well put together despite being on trial multiple times, and dresses noticeably well. The two men are also, both in love with Lucie Manette. Lucie is the source of hatred cast out from Carton toward Darnay, fore she loves Charles not him. While the two are never casted head-to-head for anything, they are steady opposites until Carton sacrifices himself to save Darnay. This action proves Sydney more like Charles than anyone could have imagined since it was an act of
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