Sydney Carton Character Analysis

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Even though he is a sinner, Carton is not a malevolent person. He refuses to pursue his dream of a better life because he knows that it would bring nothing but disgrace upon Lucy, the woman whom he loves. He often visits the Manette household, always “moody and morose” while he is there (Dickens 148). He can a pleasant person when he wishes to be, but the cloud of caring for nothing, which overshadowed him with a fatal darkness, was very rarely pierced by the light within him” (Dickens 148). This quote makes it clear to the reader that Sydney does have some light inside of him, but it is hidden beneath a facade of carelessness. On one of his visits to the Manette household, Sydney confides in Lucy that it is too late for him to change his life for the better, but assures her that he would never subject her to the same distress that he himself feels. In a rare display of emotion, Carton confesses that “‘[he] shall never be better than [he is]. [He] shall sink lower, and be worse’” (Dickens 149). However, Carton refuses to taint Lucy’s life by pursuing a romantic relationship with her. He admits that he wishes it were possible for her to love him, a “‘self-flung away, wasted, drunken, poor creature’” who is completely undeserving of her affections (Dickens 150). In this same meeting, Dickens once again references the topic of Carton’s youth. Sydney admits to Lucy that he is “‘like one who died young. All [his] life might have been’” (Dickens 150). He knows, however, that a

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