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Quotes

Quote #1

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. (1.3.1)

In case we thought that Carton just happens to be a weird loner, Dickens takes care to remind us that his cynicism might just be a stark form of realism. None of us really know much about anyone else.

Quote #2

I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me. (2.4.70)

Get used to Carton’s motto – you’ll read it often. We’re not sure why the man has absolutely no hope for his own future. Perhaps it helps explain, however, his willingness to sacrifice himself for someone else’s future.

Quote #3

In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?. (1.3.1)

Dickens emphasizes a sort of existential loneliness on two levels: we don’t understand the folks that we love and know, but we’re also surrounded by communities and cities of strangers. How’s that for a warm and fuzzy feeling?

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