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Despite Sydney's brilliance in "A Tale of Two Cities", he seems content to...

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elm0luv | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 12, 2008 at 8:02 AM via web

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Despite Sydney's brilliance in "A Tale of Two Cities", he seems content to remain the employee of Stryver. How do you explain this?

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jilllessa | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted August 12, 2008 at 8:40 AM (Answer #1)

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Sydney's lack of ambition as well as his coarse manners and alcoholism which make any ambitions he may have ever had dubious, are the reason he is content to remain an employee of Stryver.  There Sydney can work on what interests him, and drink away the rest of his time.  He does not have the organization, drive, and work ethic to run his own business.  The partnership between Stryver and Carton is good for both of them.  Styver does not have the depth or intelligence of Carton, and Carton does not have the busness sense and stability of Stryver.  Their law firm needs both of them to survive. Sydney's lack of ambition and his alcoholism are also the elements of his character from which he needs to be redeemed.  He finds the redemption in his love for Lucy and his willingness to die to give her happiness (the safe return of Darney from prison.)

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