Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities

In the 16th century Charles Dickens wrote the unforgettable novel A Tale of Two Cities. In it he created two of the most remarkable fictional characters of all time. One is the bloodthirsty Madame Defarge, and the other is the selfless Sydney Carton. Madame Defarge is a peasant who seeks revenge on all aristocrats who cross her path. In contrast, Sydney Carton is a man who is willing to do anything for the love of his life. While the actions of these two characters clearly delineate their differences, the underlying forces that drive each character are quite similar.
From Madame Defarge’s actions, it is clear that she is the evil antagonist in the novel. Even in the manner that she is physically described, she is presented as “dark” and therefore she is seen as evil. She is as evil as she is because when she was younger the D’Evremonde brothers killed her whole family. Now the purpose of her life is to procure revenge on the D’Evremonde family and every other aristocrat. Even when told by her beloved husband she has gone to far, she does not stop. Instead her repartee to him was, “Tell the wind and fire where to stop; not me”. In it she evidently expresses how she will never forget what was done to her family and how the D’Evermondes are deserving of what they will receive. The actions she performs in her daily life demonstrate her evilness. In the novel it seems as though she is the “bad guy” who is starting up all the trouble. It is her need for revenge, in the book, that starts the revolution.
While Dickens presents Sydney Carton as a worthless drunk, in contrast to Madame Defarge, he is the Christ-like noble figure of the novel. He appears to the readers of A Tale of Two Cities as a worthless drunk and a man who has not acquired any high social position in his life. Also, it seems as though his life has resulted to nothing. At one point he says, “I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me”, but that changes when he meets Lucie Manette. He develops an undying juvenile-like love for her. Sydney is willing to do anything for her and tells her so in a beautiful speech he made to her. In it he states, “Think now and then that there is a man who would give up his life, to keep a life you love beside you”.
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