Essay on Changing Impressions: A Sydney Carton Character Analysis

1260 Words6 Pages
They say a first impression is everything. However, I’ve found that these aren’t reliable. Some people cover their true feelings, trying to be tough. You never know what’s going on in people’s lives when you first meet them that causes them to act differently. And sometimes, we just make inaccurate assumptions. This is also true of things in literature.

In Charles Dickens’s novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” and in all his novels, he wants to confuse people to keep them reading. He creates complex characters who change over time, or rather just gives us more information influence our decisions our opinions. One of these complex characters who Dickens brings out in different light later is Sydney Carton.

In the
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A reader’s opinion of Sydney may slowly change while they read the novel, and I know mine did. We see that Sydney has had some things in his past life that make it difficult for him today, although we don’t know what they are. And we see that he loves Lucie as he visits regularly and his actions towards her show his endearment for her.

The biggest event in the book that would change one’s mind on Sydney’s character is his profession of love for Lucie. He has no hope that it will change Lucie’s earlier agreement to Charles Darnay’s proposal, but he feels that she needs to know how he feels about her. When he pledges that he will give his life to save anyone close to Lucie, the reader sees his true colors. He really is dedicated to her, and though he would give anything to have her, he’s willing to step back and simply allow her to know how he feels instead of fighting for her. Some would argue this is because he knows he has no chance, but I would say he does this for her as well, because he doesn’t want to make her uncomfortable in any way after she knows. Later in the story, Sydney proves his dedication by coming around to help out things, play with the kids, and just in general be a part of the family. He stays out of Charles and Lucie’s way though, and this is where I find my proof that he was truthful about what he said before.

Some would argue that Carton is only an emotional drunk who doesn’t care to do anything for anyone or even
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