Re: Sidney Carton??? Ah, a Dickens thing...

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Posted by Kate on August 10, 2000 at 20:20:45:

In Reply to: Re: Sidney Carton??? Ah, a Dickens thing... posted by Christina on August 10, 2000 at 10:02:05:

: : : : Okay Kate and all, I'm intrigued.
: : : : You've got to contribute to the continuing education of the poor benighted Carolina journalist, ye know. It's not just DDL talk and wench chatter I come to Mohicanland for. I need book learnin'!
: : : : This sounds like an intriguing work of literature...

: : : : Christina

: : : **Tale of Two Cities spoiler follows**
: : : I just came here to read what all you interesting people had to say about LOTM. I'm a new and very enthusiastic fan, but I don't know enough to offer anything about it yet. Get back to me in 2005. Therefore, I had no intention of posting, yet here I go.
: : : Although it's been years since I read the book, in a Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton was a rather unpleasant and not-well-liked lawyer in Paris. He came to love a character named Lucie, whose last name escapes me. She in turn loves and is loved by Charles Darnay, a much more honorable fellow than Carton, who is condemned to die by guillotine, for what I can't recall though I'm certain the book practically hinges on it (LOL). In perhaps his first selfless and honorable action, Carton, who is a ringer for Darnay, visits him in prison the night before the execution, drugs him, and switches places with him. He is beheaded the next morning. In the final paragraph or two, we learn that Lucie and Charles go on to a happy life, naming children after Carton and forever being grateful to him. He is character responsible for the famous lines "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." Hope that helps. I think the comparison with Heyward is both appropriate and resonant.

: : : Grace

: : Dear Grace,

: : Well explained. I first read this book in Turkish, around the age of ten or so. Like Polyanna, The Little Women,and Jane Eyre, Sydney Carton stayed with me forever. Yes, he is the original Duncan. And even though some describe him as the original shyster, he really wasn't a shyster, per se. He was shrewd, and ruthless, but if you pay attention to his character, he did have an innate code of decency, in other words, as he was fighting in an arena of jackals, he knew that the only way to survive was to be a jackal too. However, any man who can love as dearly and strongly as he did, is undisputably a good man.
: : And here is a 6 degrees to Star Trek and Cap't Kirk: Kirk, aka Shatner, who in real life is also an accomplished Shakespearean actor, did quote Sidney Carton in Star Trek The Movie, I believe Episode Two, as they were sending Mr. Spock in his coffin down to the newly born world called Genesis....
: : OK, and the 6 degrees to LOTM is of course this quote, Sidney Carton, and beloved Duncan.

: : May all the great lovers of our world live forever in love light and laughter...

: Well, THAT explains it! Would you believe in all my years of taking English lit we never read "Tale of Two Cities?" Nope, we got stuck with "Bleak House." Which I got a "C" on because the prof. didn't like how I analyzed the relationship between the governesss and her ward...Okay, so now I'm going to have to pick up "Tale of Two Cities..." Thanks for the enlightenment!

: Christina


Ahhh, what does your prof. know!!! Just because you saw things a little differently, doesn't make it 'WROOONG'!!

Anyway, I think 'Tale of Two Cities' is a beautiful story and I remember the first time I read it, I think I was about 11 years old and I howled and cried, that anyone could BE so honourable as to give up their life for someone else!! I wasn't 'into' male/female relationships at that age, of course (being a 'tom-boy' until I was about 15!), so didn't understand the concept of honour in relationship to love. However, all little girls grow up and dream ...

Even now, 'Sidney Carton' is and always WILL be, Dirk Bogarde, for me!! *ahhhhh, sigh* Yes, Christina, DO read 'The Tale of Two Cities' - I'm SURE you'll enjoy it!! (But keep the tissues handy as you near the end!)


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