Summary and Analysis Book 3: Chapter 9



With Carton and Barsad in the other room, Mr. Lorry expresses his outrage at Jerry's grave robbing activities and tells Jerry that he will be fired from Tellson's. Never quite admitting his wrongdoing, Jerry asks Mr. Lorry to let his son take his place at Tellson's and tells him that he will become a regular gravedigger to make up for the bodies he dug up.

Carton and Barsad emerge from the other room, and Barsad and Jerry leave. Carton tells Mr. Lorry that the best he can do is to secure access to Darnay in his cell. Mr. Lorry begins to weep as the implications of Darnay's second arrest sink in. Moved by Mr. Lorry's tears, Carton tells him in a sincere tone that he regards him as a father-figure who has led a good and useful life, and that people will mourn Mr. Lorry and remember him when he dies. Carton adds that a long life wasted would be a miserable one. When Mr. Lorry leaves Tellson's to comfort Lucie and her father, Carton walks the streets all night with the biblical passage, "I am the resurrection and the life,"echoing in his mind. At one point, he drops in at a chemist's shop to make a purchase.

The next day, Carton attends Darnay's new trial. The bloodthirsty jury includes the malevolent Jacques Three. The public prosecutor opens the trial by stating that Darnay's three accusers are the Defarges and Doctor Alexandre Manette. The Doctor protests this statement, but is reprimanded. Defarge then explains that he retrieved a written paper from the Doctor's old cell in the Bastille. The paper was written by Doctor Manette and contains his denouncement.


As the story reaches its climax, the main themes of the novel reassert themselves forcefully. Carton seems to have made some decision regarding himself and Darnay, but Dickens keeps the decision hidden, reminiscent of his earlier discussion of people's secret selves. Additionally, the resurrection theme that has recurred throughout the novel becomes unmistakable here as Carton roams the streets hearing "I am the resurrection and the life"repeatedly in his mind and in the echoes of his footsteps. Dickens also represents the resurrection theme through the transformation of a night into dawn. As the moon sets, he states, "Then, the night, with the moon and the stars, turned pale and died, and for a little while it seemed as if Creation were delivered over to Death's dominion."But then the sun rises gloriously, and as Carton looks at the sun's rays, "a bridge of light appeared to span the air between him and the sun."Dickens seems to be indicating that Carton has prepared himself to die.

The beginning of the trial reminds us that the Doctor's past remains buried. Defarge, it seems, has dug it up in the paper he found in Doctor Manette's cell, and the mysterious connection between the Doctor and Darnay is about to be revealed.


cogitation serious, deep thought; meditation.

prevaricate to lie or to avoid telling the whole truth.