A Tale of Two Cities Character and Theme Quotes

Charles Dickens

Essential Quotes by Character: Sydney Carton

Essential Passage 1: Book II (Chapter 4)

“Do you particularly like the man?” he muttered, at his own image; “why should you particularly like a man who resembles you? There is nothing in you to like; you know that. Ah, confound you! What a change you have made in yourself! A good reason for taking to a man, that he shows you what you have fallen away from, and what you might have been! Change places with him, and would you have been looked at by those blue eyes as he was, and commiserated by that agitated face as he was? Come on, and have it out in plain words! You hate the fellow.”


Sydney Carton has had dinner with Charles Darnay, the man whom Sydney helped acquit for treason. Sydney, however, has stated that doing so was just part of his job, that it was in no way a personal favor. Charles is very grateful but a bit shocked when Sydney states his dislike of him. Charles nevertheless is the perfect gentleman and does not retaliate and continues on good terms with Sydney. As Charles leaves Sydney to his alcoholic stupor, the latter reflects on his ambivalent feelings for the Frenchman. He questions why he should be expected to like Charles simply because they resemble each other physically. In fact, to Sydney this is an excellent reason to feel the opposite. Charles is a reminder of what Sydney could have been if he had applied himself. Charles is also a reminder that it is the Frenchman, rather than the Englishman, to whom Lucie Manette is evidently drawn.

Essential Passage 2: Book II (Chapter 13)

“My last supplication of all, is this; and with it, I will relieve you of a visitor with whom I well...

(The entire section is 1454 words.)

Essential Quotes by Theme: Resurrection

Essential Passage 1: Book I (Chapter 3)

...He was on his way to dig some one out of a grave.
Now, which of the multitude of faces that showed themselves before him was the true face of the buried person, the shadows of the night did not indicate; but they were all the faces of a man of five-and-forty years, and they differed principally in the passions they expressed, and in the ghastliness of their worn and wasted state. Pride, contempt, defiance, stubbornness, submission, lamentation, succeeded one another; so did varieties of sunken cheek, cadaverous colour, emaciated hands and figures. But the face was in the main one face, and every head was prematurely white. A hundred times the dozing passenger inquired of this spectre:
“Buried how long?”
The answer was always the same. “Almost eighteen years.”
“You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?”
“Long ago.”
“You know that you are recalled to life?”
“They tell me so.”
“I hope you care to live?”
“I can’t say.”
“Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?”
The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was, “Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon.” Sometimes, it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, “Take me to her.” Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, “I don’t know her. I don’t understand.”


Jarvis Lorry, of Tellson’s Bank of London, is on his way to France to retrieve Dr. Alexandre Manette, an old...

(The entire section is 1673 words.)