Can we talk about Sydney Carton for a second? Like this guy is a severely depressed drunkard who does all the fucking work and gets none of the credit. He works so hard to save Charles Darnay despite being in love with Lucie and when Lucie is about to lose Charles, does he try to use her grief to slide his way in? No, he sacrifices his life so that Lucie can be happy with Charles. And he does it without expecting anything. He does it because he loves her, and he knows she’ll be happier with Charles. I wish he could’ve had a happy ending too.
Date a boy who’s clever and noble. Date a boy with potential. Date a boy with a taste for wine. Date a boy who is cynical and sarcastic. Date a boy who is self-pitying. Date a boy who will love and respect you even when he acknowledges that you will never be his. Date a boy who speaks of you as being the last dream of his soul. Date a boy who would face the guillotine for your happiness. Date Sydney Carton.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
One thing a lot of people seem to forget about A Tale of Two Cities is that Carton never expects Lucie to love him back. He never flirts with her or asks her out or even deludes for a single moment that she could choose him over Darnay.
Even in his declaration of love, he flat-out tells Lucie “I know you can have no affection for me; I ask for none; I am even thankful that it cannot be.”
He knows from the beginning that Lucie will never love him back. And he respects that, because he respects her.
He never insists (like “Nice Guy” Stryver) that his love for Lucie means Lucie *has* to reciprocate….because he doesn’t see her as an object he’s entitled to, but as a person.
He never complains about being “friendzoned” because he values being her friend.
He makes selfless sacrifices for her because he actually cares about her as a human being, not because he expects her to give him something in return.
When she marries Darnay, Carton isn’t bitter and jealous (because he never saw Lucie as “his.”) He’s actually happy for Lucie, because she’s found “the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden her.” And rather than acting like a jealous jerk towards Darnay, Carton tries to mend his relationship with him (albeit by awkwardly asking “I’m sorry I was mean to you please can we be friends? Like for real friends? you can say no” like a socially awkward nine-year old.) He dotes over Darnay and Lucie’s children. And, of course, he ultimately sacrifices his life to save Darnay from the guillotine.
TL;DR: Carton is great because he never treats Lucie as an object or considers himself entitled to her affection. He makes selfless sacrifices for her because he loves her and wants her to be happy, not because he expects her to give him anything in return.
They said of him, about the city that night, that it was the peacefullest man’s face ever beheld there. Many added that he looked sublime and prophetic. One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe - a woman - had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. If he had given any utterance to his, and they were prophetic, they would have been these:
“I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Jurymen, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long, long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.
"I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace; I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years’ time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward.
"I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman, weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other’s soul, than I was in the souls of both.
"I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, foremost of just judges and honoured men, bringing a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place - then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day’s disfigurement - and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and a faltering voice.
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”
A Tale of Two Cities
I honestly think this is the most beautiful passage in all of English fiction.
i see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see to evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.
Hey ya’ll at the last minute I’ve decided to participate in @afterhoursanimationschool ‘s Inktober prompts! Because I suck and need to get better at ink so why not?
Day 1: That One Thing You Draw All the Time
My One Thing is always one of four characters–though which one depends on my mood. When I’m anxious, it’s an OC named Ink Black; when I’m happy, it’s Little Red Riding Hood; when I’m Brooding, it’s my love Sydney Carton; and when I’m angry, it’s Inspector Javert (although if my mood improves while I’m drawing him, I end by giving him big round nerd glasses– he has bad eyesight ok.) You’ll find thousands of doodles of these guys all over my notebooks and homework and everywhere.