Sydney Carton is the character that undergoes the most significant character development in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. This development is key to understanding who he truly is, because that is something that is very difficult to see at the beginning of the novel. As he transforms through the story, you see that the person he appeared to be at the beginning of the novel was not who he truly was. My interpretation of Dickens characterization of Sydney Carton is that he is truly the better man. Not only did he make a promise to give his life in place of somebody that Lucie loved, he kept the promise. Sydney Cartons's character symbolizes that there is more to every person than meets the eye and is miraculously developed from a man who feels like he has nobody who cares about him, into a man who is willing to die to keep a promise he made to the woman he loved, eventually making him a better man than Charles. .
At the beginning of the novel, Sydney Carton seemed like an untrustworthy character that had something he was hiding. Hidden in the shadows, figuratively and literally speaking, Carton spent his childhood writing homework assignments for his other classmates and his adult life doing all of the work in the legal career of Mr. Stryver. This was because, "Something especially reckless in his demeanor, not only gave him a disreputable look," (Dickens, A Disappointment) while Mr. Stryver was the kind of man who people immediately trusted. The interesting thing about Sydney Carton is that all of the good in his life is tied to Lucie and Little Lucie, who are the only two people to truly trust him. From their first meeting, Carton notices when Lucie is in trouble and does whatever he can to fix the problem, "Yet, this Mr. Carton took in more of the details of the scene than he appeared to take in; for now, when Miss Manette's head dropped upon her father's breast, he was the first to see it, and to say audibly" "Officer! Look to that young lady.