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.
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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
...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)
Book 2, Chapter 3
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)
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
...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
Book 2, Chapter 6
Book 2, Chapter 9
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)
Book 2, Chapter 10
Book 2, Chapter 16
...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)
Book 2, Chapter 17
Book 2, Chapter 18
Book 2, Chapter 20
Book 2, Chapter 21
Book 2, Chapter 24
...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)
Book 3, Chapter 1
Book 3, Chapter 2
...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
Book 3, Chapter 4
...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)
...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
Book 3, Chapter 6
...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)
Book 3, Chapter 7
Book 3, Chapter 8
...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
Book 3, Chapter 10
...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)
Book 3, Chapter 11
...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
Book 3, Chapter 13
Book 3, Chapter 15