A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde) Character Analysis

Renouncing the terrible sins of his family, the Evrémondes, Charles abandons his position in the French aristocracy to make his own way in England. Charles believes in the revolutionary ideal of liberty, but is not a radical revolutionary. Instead, he represents a rational middle ground between the self-satisfied exploitation practiced by the old aristocracy and the murderous rage exhibited by the revolutionaries. Charles has a heroic sense of justice and obligation, as shown when he arranges to provide for the oppressed French peasantry, and later endangers himself in coming to Gabelle's aid. However, Charles is also deluded in thinking he can divert the force of history and change the Revolution for the better. Similarly, Charles constantly overlooks Sydney Carton's potential and must learn from his wife, Lucie, to have faith in Carton. Charles represents an imperfect but virtuous humanity in whose future we must trust.

Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde) Quotes in A Tale of Two Cities

The A Tale of Two Cities quotes below are all either spoken by Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde) or refer to Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A Tale of Two Cities published in 2003.
Book 2, Chapter 9 Quotes
"Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend," observed the Marquis, "will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof," looking up to it, "shuts out the sky."
Related Characters: Marquis St. Evrémonde (speaker), Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde)
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

Charles has confided to his uncle, the Marquis d'Evrémonde, about his love for a "sacred object," Lucie, but the Marquis quickly dismisses his idealistic goals. While Charles has embraced the new Enlightenment philosophy of equality and freedom – so much so that he is struggling to reconcile his own heritage with his beliefs – his uncle is steadfastly committed to the aristocratic tyranny that is all he knows (and which benefits him so immensely). 

Here, the Marquis suggests that his own beliefs are part of a greater truth about history. Only by repressing people who are weaker can those in power hope to stay that way. By blocking out the sky, as it were, aristocrats can even make people lose their hope for a better life, implying that what they experience is all there is. But the Marquis's words also implicitly suggest that aristocrats may well be in danger if they do fail to "shut out the sky," and if people begin to hope for the possibility of a better life.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other A Tale of Two Cities quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Book 2, Chapter 10 Quotes
He had loved Lucie Manette from the hour of his danger. He had never heard a sound so sweet and dear as the sound of her compassionate voice; he had never seen a face so tenderly beautiful, as hers when it was confronted with his own on the edge of the grave that had been dug for him.
Related Characters: Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde), Lucie Manette
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:

Charles, having abandoned his aristocratic heritage, now lives in London and continues to be in love with Lucie, even going as far as to proclaim his love for her to her father. Here, we once again see the power that Lucie can hold over people. Charles is described as emerging out of a grave thanks to Lucie's beautiful face. Like Lucie's father, he feels that he is in some way raised from the dead thanks to the goodness that emanates from her. While Charles had all the riches he could have wanted thanks to his aristocratic family, for him such a heritage is confining far more than it is liberating – it is his love for Lucie that is freeing.

Book 2, Chapter 20 Quotes
My husband, it is so. I fear he is not to be reclaimed; there is scarcely a hope that anything in his character or fortunes is reparable now. But, I am sure that he is capable of good things, gentle things, even magnanimous things.
Related Characters: Lucie Manette (speaker), Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde), Dr. Alexandre Manette
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

Charles has spoken critically about Sydney Carton at dinner with the entire household that evening, and now, later at night and in private, Lucie gently reproves him for being overly harsh towards the man. Unlike Charles, Lucie is convinced that Carton may yet prove himself redeemable – he may yet have another, new life ahead of him.

Lucie is not overly naive or idealistic; she does, after all, acknowledge that Carton's past character and fortunes count a great deal against him. In that sense, he has created his own situation, and cannot be liberated from the choices he has made. At the same time, however, Lucie may well be thinking of the conversation she had with Carton, one that helped to convince her of his good intentions and possibility for redemption. It is also worth noting that in many cases in the novel it is Lucie's belief that someone can redeem themselves that allows that gives that person the strength to actually achieve redemption.

Book 2, Chapter 24 Quotes
Like the mariner in the old story, the winds and streams had driven him within the influence of the Loadstone Rock, and it was drawing him to itself, and he must go. Everything that arose before his mind drifted him on, faster and faster, more and more steadily, to the terrible attraction. His latent uneasiness had been … that he who could not fail to know that he was better than they, was not there, trying to do something to stay bloodshed, and assert the claims of mercy and humanity.
Related Characters: Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde)
Page Number: 252
Explanation and Analysis:

Charles has received a letter from the Evrémonde family servant, Gabelle, who has been jailed merely because of his association with aristocracy, though he has been attempting to help Charles to work for good. Now Charles realizes that he must return to Paris, and that he has a chance not to escape his aristocratic heritage but to redeem it by doing everything he can to mitigate the violence of the revolution. Here the narrator refers to the famous poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Coleridge: the Loadstone Rock, in this poem and in elsewhere, exerts an almost mystical, but also scientifically magnetic, influence, drawing objects to itself. 

For Charles, his return to Paris is part of his individual trajectory, an active choice made in order to reduce the violence of revolution and to make his own mark against the tyranny of both sides. At the same time, however, the comparison to the Loadstone Rock – that "terrible attraction" – suggests that Charles is ultimately subject to the same forces of fate and history as everyone else. He cannot but help playing his role in this process just like the others, and further suggests that regardless of the role he intends to play, he will end up playing whatever role history has in store for him.

Book 3, Chapter 1 Quotes
Not a mean village closed upon him, not a common barrier dropped across the road behind him, but he knew it to be another iron door in the series that was barred between him and England. The universal watchfulness so encompassed him, that if he had been taken in a net, or were being forwarded to his destination in a cage, he could not have felt his freedom more completely gone.
Related Characters: Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde)
Page Number: 255
Explanation and Analysis:

As Charles makes his way from London to Paris, he is increasingly aghast by how the values of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity that were supposed to have motivated the revolution have been distorted out of all recognition. He is suspicious of everything and everyone around him, not knowing whom he can trust, and unsure of the course history will take next.

At the same time, his journey to France, though undertaken of his own will, begins to seem more and more like a prison sentence, as with each step Charles's path seems to become more irrevocable. The further he goes into revolutionary France, the less able he is to turn back, to change course. Instead it seems that he is walking into his own fate – not in a positive, optimistic way, as if he were choosing his own destiny, but rather as though he is willingly walking into a trap of inevitability and will be able to find no way out.

Book 3, Chapter 6 Quotes
Looking at the Jury and the turbulent audience, he might have thought that the usual order of things was reversed, and that the felons were trying the honest men.
Related Characters: Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde)
Page Number: 292
Explanation and Analysis:

As Charles faces the crowd and the jury at his trial, he is struck by the sense that the supposed institutions of justice have been hollowed out of their significance: in their place is a bloodthirsty crowd whose sense of justice is twisted – so much so that it might formerly have been thought of as injustice.

Once again, the novel stresses that those suffering under tyranny have become tyrants themselves, in a tragic revolutionary cycle that is portrayed as more inevitable that actively chosen. Violence leads, always, to more violence; tyranny leads to new tyranny. In such a world, everything seems inside out, including the status of the felons and the honest, the judged and the judges.

Get the entire A Tale of Two Cities LitChart as a printable PDF.
A tale of two cities.pdf.medium

Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde) Character Timeline in A Tale of Two Cities

The timeline below shows where the character Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde) appears in A Tale of Two Cities. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 2
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...await Mr. Lorry's orders at the Old Bailey Courthouse, where a handsome young gentleman named Charles Darnay stands accused of treason. Jerry enters the court and pushes through the crowd gathered... (full context)
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Charles, who stands accused of being a French spy, is defended by two lawyers: Mr. Stryver... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 3
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
The Attorney General prosecuting the case demands that the jury sentence Charles to death. He calls a witness, the "unimpeachable patriot" John Barsad, whose testimony implicates Charles... (full context)
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Later, while Mr. Stryver is unsuccessfully cross-examining a witness who has been called to identify Charles, Carton hands Stryver a note. After reading from the note, Stryver forces the court to... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 4
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
After the trial, Charles kisses Lucie's hands in gratitude and thanks Stryver for his help. Dr. Manette is now... (full context)
Fate and History Theme Icon
...the shadows. His shabby clothes and impertinent manners offend Mr. Lorry, who departs. Carton and Charles go out to dinner at a tavern, where Carton slyly asks Charles whether being tried... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 5
Sacrifice Theme Icon
After leaving the tavern where he dined with Charles, Carton joins Stryver in his apartment. To stay awake, he wraps a wet towel around... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 6
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Lucie and Manette return. Charles arrives to visit moments later. Charles tells them of his recent trip to the Tower... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 9
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
At his luxurious castle, the Marquis Evrémonde waits for the arrival of his nephew, Charles Evrémonde (a.k.a. Charles Darnay) from London. Charles explains he has been questing for a "sacred... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Charles responds that the Evrémondes have lost their family honor by injuring anyone who stood between... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 10
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
A year passes. Charles now makes a passable living in London as a French teacher. Charles visits Dr. Manette.... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Charles thanks Dr. Manette for his confidence in him, and wants to return the favor by... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 16
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...that Defarge was once Dr. Manette's servant, he mentions that Lucie is now married to Charles Darnay—who is in reality the nephew of the Marquis Evrémonde. After watching the impact of... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Defarge is in disbelief. He feels a deep anxiety when Madame Defarge adds Charles's name to her knitting. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 17
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Lucie spends the last night before her wedding to Charles with her father. She asks Dr. Manette if he believes that her marriage will bring... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 18
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
On the day of the wedding, Charles Darnay and Dr. Manette speak privately. When they emerge, Mr. Lorry notices that Manette looks... (full context)
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
After the wedding, Charles and Lucie leave for their honeymoon in Wales. The plan is for Dr. Manette to... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 20
Resurrection Theme Icon
The first person to visit Lucie and Charles after they return from their honeymoon is Sydney Carton. Carton apologizes for his drunkenness during... (full context)
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
At dinner that night, Charles comments to Lucie, Manette, Mr. Lorry, and Miss Pross about Carton's careless and reckless behavior.... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 21
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
In the year 1789, distressing "echoes" arrive from France. Mr. Lorry confides in Charles that the Paris office of Tellson's Bank has been flooded with anxious aristocrats trying to... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 24
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Inside the bank, Charles is trying to talk Mr. Lorry out of his latest mission: going to the Paris... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...Gabelle. He was arrested, brought to Paris, and charged with treason for helping an emigrant, Charles Evrémonde. Gabelle writes that the peasants neither know nor care that he in fact was... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Charles realizes that he must go to Paris. His sense of justice obliges him to help... (full context)
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Charles gives Mr. Lorry a reply to send to Gabelle: Evrémonde will come. Charles packs secretly,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 1
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Charles arrives in France and finds things very different from when he left. At each village... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Three soldiers accompany Charles to Paris as his "escort." Upon arriving in Paris, they deliver Charles—whom they now call... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Defarge conducts Charles to the prison of La Force with a note for the jailor saying "In secret."... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 2
Fate and History Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
...is stunned when Lucie and Dr. Manette rush in. They left London immediately after reading Charles's letters. Dr. Manette's fame as a Bastille prisoner has granted him access and information, and... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 3
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
In the apartment, Lucie reads the note from Charles: he is fine, and under Dr. Manette's protection. She gratefully kisses one of Madame Defarge's... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 4
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...defenseless prisoners have been murdered, convicted by a self-appointed Tribunal. The Tribunal also nearly condemned Charles to death, but Dr. Manette was able to sway the crowd and Charles was returned... (full context)
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...his newfound authority. He believes his suffering has become strength and power, capable of breaking Charles out of prison. Having earned the respect of the revolutionaries, he has been made the... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 5
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...normal English household to relieve her mind. Dr. Manette reassures her that he can save Charles. He suggests that she walk near the prison at a place where Charles might see... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Moments later, Dr. Manette appears. He tells Lucie that Charles's trial will be held tomorrow, and promises her that all will work out well. Lucie... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 6
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
A rowdy, bloodthirsty crowd gathers for the trial of "Charles Evrémonde, called Darnay." Defarge and Madame Defarge sit in the front row. Madame Defarge is... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
In his testimony, Charles explains that he actually isn't an emigrant: he gave up his aristocratic title and property,... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...who had been forgotten in prison before the trial, takes the witness stand and confirms Charles's story. Then Dr. Manette testifies, praising Charles's character and republican ideals. (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
The jury votes to acquit Charles. The boisterous crowd now celebrates Charles as a patriot and carries him through the streets... (full context)
Resurrection Theme Icon
When she sees Charles, Lucie faints with joy. In their apartment, she thanks God, then her father, who declares,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 7
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...Then there is a knock at the door. Four armed revolutionaries enter and declare that Charles Evrémonde is again the prisoner of the Republic. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 8
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
...arrived in Paris a day earlier, Carton explains, Carton chanced upon and recognized Barsad from Charles Darnay's English trial. Carton also learned that Barsad was serving as a French government spy... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 9
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
After a while, Barsad leaves and Carton explains to Mr. Lorry that if Charles is convicted, Barsad will smuggle Carton into Charles's cell. Refusing to explain anything more, Carton... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Carton arrives at the courthouse the next morning for Charles's trial, where Jacques Three is the head of the jury. As the trial begins, the... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 10
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
...two men, identical twins. From their coat of arms, he learned that they were Evrémondes: Charles's father (who was then the Marquis) and his uncle (who became the Marquis after Charles's... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
The next day, the wife of the Marquis (and Charles's mother) visited Dr. Manette. Hearing what had happened, she hoped to find and help the... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Incensed at the actions of the Evrémondes, the jury sentences Charles to death. The crowd goes wild. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 11
Resurrection Theme Icon
As the crowd celebrates Charles's conviction in the streets, John Barsad, who is escorting Charles back to his cell, lets... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Devastated, Dr. Manette tries to apologize to Charles. But Charles stops him, and instead thanks him, acknowledging all that Dr. Manette must have... (full context)
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
...home. There, he instructs Dr. Manette to use any remaining influence to try to save Charles. Dr. Manette hurries away. However, once he's gone, Carton and Mr. Lorry confess they have... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 12
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
...a wine shop—Defarge's wine shop. Defarge and Madame Defarge marvel at his physical resemblance to Charles, but have no idea who he is. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 13
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
In the prison, 52 people, including Charles, await execution that day. Charles writes a final letter to Lucie, in which he says... (full context)
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Suddenly John Barsad opens the cell door and lets in Carton. Carton tells Charles to start changing clothes with him. Then Carton dictates a letter for Charles to write,... (full context)
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
As Charles writes, Carton waves the packet of drugs under his nose. Charles passes out. Carton finishes... (full context)
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Soon the guards arrive and take Carton, whom they think is Charles Evrémonde, out to join the other condemned prisoners. A young woman, who was wrongly accused... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 15
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
...to the guillotine. Some onlookers, used to the spectacle, are bored. Others gather to see Charles Evrémonde and insult him. (full context)