In Book 2, Chapter 4 what things suggest to the reader that Mr. Carton might be jealous of Charles Darnay in A Tale of Two Cities?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Sydney Carton resents Charles Darnay because in Charles he sees what he could have been.  Since the two men look so similar, Carton compares himself to Darnay.  He says to Darnay:

“I begin to think we are not much alike in any particular, you and I.”

 The main reason that Carton is jealous is Lucie.  He falls in love with her from the first time he sees her, and he knows that she is falling for Darnay.  He realizes that he could never have a woman like Lucie, but if he were more like Darnay he could.  Since Stryver takes all the credit for the legal maneuver that gets Darnay acquitted, everyone pretty much ignores Carton.

“Nobody had made any acknowledgment of Mr. Carton’s part in the day’s proceedings; nobody had known of it.”

Carton is drunk and dishelved (“who smelt of port wine, and did not appear to be quite sober”) and no one considers him worthy of attention, especially Lucie.  Carton is usually content for this to be the case, but it is this encounter with Darnay that first gets him to consider the life he might have had.

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