Carton?s Change

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It is human nature to carry a beast deep down within oneself. Whether one chooses to control the beast or be controlled by it is an individual choice. He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man. Most repress their inner rage, but some let it loose and lose that which makes them a human being. In the novel A tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Sydney Carton is not the man he initially appears to be. Sydney’s love for Lucie changed him greatly, and allowed him to become a better person. Sydney Carton’s final act of supreme courage in Paris is not an inspired emotional response, but a deliberate, carefully reasoned act. In the novel A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton drastically changes his life around and becomes a new man, which allows him to die with a clear conscience. Sydney Carton is not the man he initially appears to be. Sydney is first described at Darnay’s trial as slouching and not paying attention to the proceedings of the court. He is portrayed as drunk, and even admits this to Darney at dinner. “’A last word, Mr. Darney: you think I am drunk? I think you have been drinking, Mr. Carton. Think? You know I have been drinking. Since I must say so, I know it. Then you shall likewise know why I am a disappointed drudge sir.’” (Dickens 91) Sydney feels that there is no hope for him, and that his life will never improve. Carton has much more potential, and could be so much more in life, yet he remains in the shadow of others happy to do the work of others. “ Sydney had been working double tides that night, and the night before, and the night before that, and a good many nights in succession, making a grand clearance among Stryvers papers before the setting in of the long vacation. (Dickens 140) Carton has many repressed feelings and memories, which he keeps hidden deep down within himself. He is a lonely man because of these repressed emotions and memories, which make Sydney turn toward drink. The more Carton attempts to confront his problems, the more he resorts to recklessness and drinking. Sydney feels that no one cares for him, so he cannot care for another. “’I care for no man on earth and no man on earth cares for me.’” (Dickens 91) Carton’s memories of growing up without care eat away at him, and turn him away from other people, into solitude. Ca... ... middle of paper ... ...ried away on the tumbrils to La Guillotine, he thinks philosophically about the future and even quotes a few scriptures. Before Carton is beheaded his mind becomes clear. He looks at his life and knows he is going to a far better place. “`It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.`” (Dickens 367) Carton’s carefully reasoned act of saving Charles Darnay was a truly heroic deed. Even though it was partly self-sacrifice, Carton still had a promise to uphold to Lucie and he wasn’t going to back out on it. Sydney Carton picks up the pieces of his broken life and becomes a new man, which allows him to die with a clear conscience at La Guillotine. Carton is not the man he is first portrayed to be. His love for Lucie allowed him to change greatly. Carton’s final act of supreme courage for Darnay and Lucie in Paris was not an inspired emotional response, but a deliberate, carefully reasoned act. Sydney Carton managed to drastically change his life. His Love for Lucie let him experience feelings that he had long suppressed. He became a compassionate individual, and died with a clear conscience.
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