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A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

  

by Charles Dickens

Foil

Character Role Analysis

Sydney Carton

They look alike. They talk alike. On occasions, they even dress alike. Dickens is flashing "FOIL" in big, neon letters whenever he starts to compare Charles and Sydney. When we read about how crummy Sydney’s life is, we begin to understand how much gumption it took for Charles to start all over in a new land.

Of course, when we read about how crummy Sydney’s life is, we also begin to understand that Dickens created Charles as a sort of charmed character: he’s the guy whom good things happen to because, well, he’s the guy who marries Lucie. End of story.


The Marquis St. Evrémonde

The Marquis lives the life that Charles should be living. He’s arrogant, rich, and self-important. In other words, he’s everything that Charles is determined never to become. He’s also the symbol of everything that Charles flees when he leaves France for England. He doesn’t ever want to become like his uncle.

Unfortunately, no one seems to recognize these differences once the revolution starts. Once an Evrémonde, always an Evrémonde.


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