A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Character Project)

A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens
(Character Project)
Sarah Borland, Priyanka Pullarkat, Serena Zheng, Andrew Nazarian & Maddy MacKenzie
Marquis St. Evremonde
Book II Chapter VII
“It is extraordinary to me, that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children.
One or the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know what injury you have
done my horses. See! Give him that (106)”.
Book II Chapter VII
“He threw out a gold coin for the valet to pick up , and all the heads craned forward that all
the eyes might look down at it as it fell. The tall man called out against with a most
unearthly cry, ‘Dead!’ (106)”.
Dickens depicts Marquis as heartless, cold and inhumane, therefore, characterizing
the aristocracy as those who only care about themselves. These quotes, highlight the
dissent the poor classes feel towards the aristocratic classes and depict Marquis as a jerk,
especially through the use of imagery and vivid tone words.
The Monseigneur serves as a representation of everything that is wrong with
the aristocracy. He is the only person in the village who can help to better
the lives of the people, yet he lets them suffer. He does not even mourn the
death of a child by his carriage. He is selfish, and flaunts his wealth even
among the poorest people in the country. All of these qualities serve to
show us that the aristocracy is no longer fulfilling its original purpose. His
subsequent death serves as a warning to the aristocracy of England that
similar fates await them.
Marquis is naught but a bust. Like
any sculpture, he is cold and
heartless. As his carriage runs over
a child, he merely tosses a coin to
the child’s father in compensation
without a sign of remorse. Also, a
bust is symbolic of the rich as only
the affluent can afford them, and
Marquis is nothing if not wealthy.
A bust represents his heartlessness,
his cold demeanor, and aristocratic
Marquis St. Evremonde is similar to another Dickens character from his
earlier literature. The Monseigneur shows lots comparisons to
Ebenezer Scrooge. They are both older men whose obsession with
money consumes them and turns them into rude, lonely men. In the
novel Marquis runs over a child and only throws a few dollars at him
to “assist” the family. This scene is similar to Scrooge’s entire
outlook on life in that no one below him deserves anything, even life.
These are the things that Marquis and Scrooge have in common.
Song Lyrics
So Much Trouble in the World - Bob Marley
“Bless my eyes this morning/Jah sun is on the rise once again/The way earthly things are going/Anything can happen”
“You see men sailing on their ego trip/Blast off on their spaceship/Million miles from reality/No care for you, no care for me”
“All you got to do: give a little...Now they sitting on a time bomb/Now I know the time has come/What goes on up is coming on
These lyrics, if applied to the time period of the novel, would come from a lower class citizen aimed toward Marquis and the
corrupt aristocracy. Those who are not upper class members of society are blessed every day they wake up. The sun that
rises every day symbolizes the power and reign of the aristocracy that governs daily and is always present when the masses
wake up. With the corrupt social institutions in place, life is unpredictable. Men like Marquis sail on their egos and travel far
away from the harsh reality of the life of the masses. They can not relate to the majority of society so they do not care for
them. However, the solution is to care and give effort in helping the impoverished. Marquis and his fellow aristocrats are
ignorantly sitting on a time bomb that will explode into a revolution, and they will finally get what’s coming to them.
Sydney Carton
Book II Chapter XIII
“If it had been possible, Miss Manette, that you could have returned the love of the man you see
before you--self-flung away, wasted, drunken, poor creature of misuse as you know him to be-he would have been conscious this day and hour, in spite of his happiness, that he would bring
you to misery, bring you to sorrow and repentance, blight you, pull you down with him. I know
very well that you can have no tenderness for me; I ask for none; I am even thankful that it
cannot be (144)”.
Dickens highlights the tough life Sydney lives, as one who is lonely, poor and
unworthy of love. In this quote, Sydney is depicted as one who is undeserving and miserable.
The tough love situation with Lucie also aids to Sydney’s dramatic and sad life. Through the use
of long sentences and emphasis on words of sadness, Sydney Carton’s personality is illuminated.
Sydney Carton is intelligent and attractive. He resembles Charles Darnay, and
is the mastermind behind most of Mr. Stryver’s brilliant arguments. Yet he
is a poor, lonely, drunkard. The juxtaposition between Darnay and Carton
again shows Dickens’s use of duality, pairing completely opposite ideas.
Because Carton is a poor orphan and Darnay a member of French
aristocracy, their very different fates are sealed and out of their control.
Carton receives the short end of the stick, and Dickens uses him to
represent the wasted potential of a man oppressed by the bounds of a rigid
and outdated class system.
Sydney Carton is the sapling that
stands in the shadow of the larger
oak that is Charles Darnay. They
are of the same species, and in
equal circumstances, they would
even look quite identical, but as the
sapling has drawn the short straw
and is forced into the grown oak’s
shadow, it will die and decompose
to form nutrient soil for new trees
to grow.
Within Sydney Carton I saw a lot of similarities to the character
Eponine from Les Miserables. Eponine was a tragic hero who spent a
majority of her time loving Marius with no love in return. She would do
anything for his happiness which is how Sydney feels towards Lucie.
Carton and Eponine were both of lower social classes, but neither by
choice. They have great potential but it is sadly never fulfilled in their
lifetimes and it is something that should be admired about them both.
Song Lyrics
Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
“Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice/In the church where a wedding has been/Lives in a dream/Waits at the window/Wearing the face
that she keeps in a jar by the door/Who is it for?”
“All the lonely people/Where do they all come from?/All the lonely people/Where do they all belong?”
Carton is like Eleanor Rigby. He experiences loneliness as he waits for for the day when he will be with Lucie. Although he is
charming and handsome, he is still quite lonely because of his social class. Similarly, The Beatles wrote this song to emphasize a
depressing reality in a world of billions of people: some will always be lonely because its just the fate the world offers some people.

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