Summary and Analysis
Book 3: Chapter 6
At the trial the next day, Darnay offers an articulate and well-planned defense of himself. However, the jury remains unconvinced of his innocence until Doctor Alexandre Manette and Mr. Lorry testify on his behalf. The court spectators who called for Darnay's head at the beginning of the trial cheer wildly when the jury votes to free him. As the crowd swarms around Darnay and carries him home, the rapid change in his situation bewilders him. When he reaches home, he embraces Lucie and his daughter, and he and Lucie pray together in thanks. Afterward, Lucie embraces her father, who is proud of what he has accomplished.
The image of Lucie's head on her father's breast brings the reader full circle in the story of the father and daughter. Just as she dug him out of his mental prison, he has unearthed her husband from his prison. Darnay has been "resurrected,"just as the Doctor was. However, the family's happiness must be fleeting; regardless of the innocent verdict, Madame Defarge has indelibly recorded Darnay's name in her register. Dickens shows the reader Madame Defarge, sitting in the front row "with a spare piece of knitting under her arm as she worked."That spare piece of knitting is undoubtedly the portion of the register that contains Darnay's name. Although the jury has declared Darnay innocent, one day's verdict does not mean he is safe. Dickens repeatedly has emphasized the changeable nature of the populace, even at Darnay's trial. Just as the tide of opinion shifted from bloodlust to intense support, a word from Madame Defarge can swing the tide back again.