A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens Summary and Analysis Book 2: Chapter 18 - Nine Days

Summary

On the morning of Lucie and Darnay's wedding, Doctor Alexandre Manette and Darnay engage in a private discussion. Afterwards, the Doctor is very pale but composed. Lucie and Darnay are married and depart on a two-week honeymoon. Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross escort a subdued Doctor Manette home. Observing hints of the Doctor's former mental incapacity, Mr. Lorry tells Miss Pross that although he must take care of some business, he will return soon. When he returns, the Doctor has regressed to his previous state of total absorption in his shoemaking and appears not to know Mr. Lorry or Miss Pross. The situation continues for nine days, and Mr. Lorry arranges that neither the Doctor's patients nor Lucie and Darnay know about the Doctor's relapse. Mr. Lorry also takes an unprecedented leave of absence from Tellson's to stay at the Manette home and watch over his friend.

Analysis

Darnay's disclosure of his name and background to Doctor Manette seems to have confirmed the Doctor's fears of his son-in-law's family connections. Although the Doctor has been healthy physically and mentally for many years, his relapse reveals that he can still be deeply hurt by his past. His vulnerability heightens the sense of foreboding surrounding the entire family. The reader knows that the Defarges have identified and registered Darnay; in fact, the revolutionaries have condemned the entire Evrémonde line, including any children that result from Darnay and Lucie's marriage.

Glossary

chaise any of several kinds of lightweight carriage used for leisure, having two or four wheels and drawn by one or two horses. Some have a collapsible top.

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During the day Jerry Cruncher is a porter for Tellson’s Bank. What is his occupation at night?




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