A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Summary and Analysis Book 2: Chapter 10 - Two Promises

Summary

A year after the assassination of the Marquis, Darnay has made a life for himself in England as a tutor of French language and literature. He has been in love with Lucie since the trial, and he finally decides to speak to Doctor Manette about his feelings. Darnay tells the Doctor that he loves Lucie and wishes to marry her. Because he is unsure of Lucie's feelings for him, Darnay asks the Doctor not to say anything to her unless she discloses similar feelings for Darnay. In that case, Darnay asks the Doctor to tell her that Darnay has expressed his love for her and to not say anything against him. The Doctor agrees, but when Darnay tries to reveal his real name and background, Doctor Manette stops him and makes him promise not to divulge the information until the morning of Darnay and Lucie's wedding. That evening, Lucie finds the Doctor hammering at his shoemaker's bench. When she calls to him, he stops and makes no mention of his relapse or of Darnay's visit.

Analysis

The Doctor's response to Darnay's declaration of love for Lucie indicates that the Evrémonde family ties may yet have the power to disrupt his life. Additionally, Dickens has dropped hints that Darnay or his family has something to do with the Doctor's secret. The Doctor has looked at Darnay with dislike, distrust, and fear on occasion, even though Darnay has done nothing to cause offense. Similarly, the secret smile that the Marquis wore when questioning Darnay about Doctor Manette strongly suggests that he knows something about the Doctor's history.

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