Who are the main characters in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Most likely, Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay, the two near-lookalikes, are the main characters of the book—although Doctor Manette; his daughter, Lucie; Madame Defarge; and Jarvis Lorry are also important characters without whom the plot would not advance.

Despite their physical resemblance to one another, Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay are very different characters morally and in terms of the outlooks on life. Darnay, a former French aristocrat, is an empathetic and understanding person. Sydney Carton, meanwhile, is a complicated character with many unappealing characteristics, including his excessive drinking and his general sense of apathy. He does not really apply himself to the practice of law, and he seems to have no ambition. In fact, early in the book, Dickens describes him as “Sydney Carton, idlest and most unpromising of men.”

Sydney is resentful and often unpleasant. When Stryver tells Sydney to get back to work, he does so “sullenly enough,” apparently angry at...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1106 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 12, 2020
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team