Madame Defarge, Sydney Carton, And Charles Darnay

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Charles Dickens uses the ambiguity of Madame Defarge, Sydney Carton, and Charles Darnay to demonstrate how passion for something or someone can dictate our actions and ultimately bring about a new persona in his novel A Tale of Two Cities. At first glance, Madame Defarge has a seemingly passive personality. She constantly knits and never speaks a word, but she is always watching. Dickens characterizes her in a way so the reader knows there is something more to her, but he keeps it a secret for the beginning of the novel. A glimpse to her second side is seen when the intentions of her knitting is revealed: “Knitted, in her own stitches and her own symbols, it will always be as plain to her as the sun” (Dickens 174). Her knitting serves…show more content…
She will not stop at anything until she gets the revenge she seeks, even if it is death. She is killed by Miss Pross in her attempt to get more evidence for her case against Darnay’s family. Her strong emotions are what bring about her dual side. Dickens is commenting on the fact that humans do not just have positive and negative qualities that cause them to be ambiguous. There is some other motive and reason driving them to those opposing qualities. Sydney Carton is another ambiguous character compelled by his passion. In the beginning of the novel he is an isolated and depressed alcoholic. He is nicknamed memory because he acts as the brain of his boss, Stryver. He has no confidence in himself: “I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me” (Dickens 85). Carton never puts too much pressure on himself because he knows he is a failure. He seems to be a guy who floats through life along with the current. When he meets Lucie, he begins to change. He falls in love with her and even expresses his feelings. He promises he will do anything for her: “I would embrace any sacrifice for you and those dear to you” (Dickens 154). This is the complete opposite of the reserved Carton from the start of the novel because now he finally has someone he cares about. This brings up a new,
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