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A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

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Sydney Carton said he would die young because of a dissipated and wasted life. How was he both right and wrong?

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In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Sydney Carton looked for personal fulfillment, frequently finding himself disconnected to his work and lack of social life. In the "die young" quote, he is both right and wrong. He does die young, but not for the mournful reasons of a wasted life.

Carton does waste his enormous potential, drowning it in drink, missing opportunities for personal growth; however, when confronted with the chance to act in a meaningful way with the chance and possibility of making a profound difference in the lives of the Manettes and Darnays, Sydney seizes the opportunity with conviction.  In this way, Carton is wrong about the reasons for his death. He willingly gives his life so that another man might live; that kind of sacrifice is never a waste.

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