French aristocrat by birth, Darnay chooses to live in England because
he cannot bear to be associated with the cruel injustices of the
French social system. Darnay displays great virtue in his rejection
of the snobbish and cruel values of his uncle, the Marquis Evrémonde.
He exhibits an admirable honesty in his decision to reveal to Doctor
Manette his true identity as a member of the infamous Evrémonde
family. So, too, does he prove his courage in his decision to return
to Paris at great personal risk to save the imprisoned Gabelle.
in-depth analysis of Charles Darnay.
insolent, indifferent, and alcoholic attorney who works with Stryver.
Carton has no real prospects in life and doesn’t seem to be in pursuit
of any. He does, however, love Lucie, and his feelings for her eventually transform
him into a man of profound merit. At first the polar opposite of
Darnay, in the end Carton morally surpasses the man to whom he bears
a striking physical resemblance.
in-depth analysis of Sydney Carton.
father and a brilliant physician, Doctor Manette spent eighteen
years as a prisoner in the Bastille. At the start of the novel,
Manette does nothing but make shoes, a hobby that he adopted to
distract himself from the tortures of prison. As he overcomes his
past as a prisoner, however, he proves to be a kind, loving father
who prizes his daughter’s happiness above all things.
in-depth analysis of Doctor Manette.
young French woman who grew up in England, Lucie was raised as a
ward of Tellson’s Bank because her parents were assumed dead. Dickens
depicts Lucie as an archetype of compassion. Her love has the power to
bind her family together—the text often refers to her as the “golden
thread.” Furthermore, her love has the power to transform those
around her. It enables her father to be “recalled to life,” and
it sparks Sydney Carton’s development from a “jackal” into a hero.
in-depth analysis of Lucie Manette.
A wine shop owner and revolutionary in the poor
Saint Antoine section of Paris, Monsieur Defarge formerly worked
as a servant for Doctor Manette. Defarge proves an intelligent and
committed revolutionary, a natural leader. Although he remains dedicated
to bringing about a better society at any cost, he does demonstrate
a kindness toward Manette. His wife, Madame Defarge, views this
consideration for Manette as a weakness.
cruel revolutionary whose hatred of the aristocracy fuels her tireless
crusade, Madame Defarge spends a good deal of the novel knitting
a register of everyone who must die for the revolutionary cause. Unlike
her husband, she proves unrelentingly blood-thirsty, and her lust
for vengeance knows no bounds.
in-depth analysis of Madame Defarge.
elderly businessman who works for Tellson’s Bank, Mr. Lorry is a
very business-oriented bachelor with a strong moral sense and a
good, honest heart. He proves trustworthy and loyal, and Doctor
Manette and Lucie come to value him as a personal friend.
odd-job man for Tellson’s Bank, Cruncher is gruff, short-tempered,
superstitious, and uneducated. He supplements his income by working
as a “Resurrection-Man,” one who digs up dead bodies and sells them
servant who raised Lucie, Miss Pross is brusque, tough, and fiercely
loyal to her mistress. Because she personifies order and loyalty,
she provides the perfect foil to Madame Defarge, who epitomizes
the violent chaos of the revolution.
Charles Darnay’s uncle, the Marquis Evrémonde is
a French aristocrat who embodies an inhumanly cruel caste system.
He shows absolutely no regard for human life and wishes that the
peasants of the world would be exterminated.
ambitious lawyer, Stryver dreams of climbing the social ladder.
Unlike his associate, Sydney Carton, Stryver is bombastic, proud,
Roger Cly, John Barsad is a British spy who swears that patriotism
is his only motive. Barsad falsely claims to be a virtuous man of
John Barsad, Roger Cly is a British spy who swears that patriotism
alone inspires all of his actions. Cly feigns honesty but in fact
constantly participates in conniving schemes.
man charged with keeping up the Evrémonde estate after the Marquis’
death, Gabelle is imprisoned by the revolutionaries. News of his
internment prompts Darnay to travel to France to save him.