In many ways Charles Darnay is a mirror, and a foil, who not only connects several themes in A Tale of Two Cities but also offers by way of juxtaposition a glaring contrast between the two major cultures around which this story revolves.
Charles Darnay is a young man of twenty-five when he is first introduced in the novel. With dark hair, dark eyes, and a pale complexion, he is well-groomed and well-mannered but not remarkable. He is the epitome of English politeness, self-possession, and manners, physically and socially presenting himself with not a single hair out of place.
Darnay meets his first foil in the courtroom in the form of Sydney Carton. Physically, Carton is Darnay’s double, resembling him closely enough to convince the jury of reasonable doubt. But there the resemblance ends. Darnay is self-possessed; Carton is an alcoholic. Darnay runs in moneyed circles in spite of the fact that he works as a teacher. Carton is unrefined and underachieving, an attorney doing the grunt...
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