A Tale of Two Cities | Study Guide

Charles Dickens

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic
MLA

Bibliography

Course Hero. "A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide." Course Hero. 15 Sep. 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/>.

In text

(Course Hero)

APA

Bibliography

Course Hero. (2016, September 15). A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)

Chicago

Bibliography

Course Hero. "A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide." September 15, 2016. Accessed November 15, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide," September 15, 2016, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/.

A Tale of Two Cities | Book 2, Chapter 17 : One Night | Summary

Share
Share

Summary

In London, Lucie Manette is talking with Dr. Manette on the evening before her wedding to Charles Darnay. She tells her father that she would have been perfectly happy with him had she not seen Darnay, and that she would never leave him. He tells her how he used to watch the moon out of his prison cell window and wonder who his unborn child was and if it had lived. A son might have avenged him, he says; a daughter might marry and have children of her own. Would they know of his existence? Lucie says she is that daughter and assures him of her devotion and her love. Dr. Manette tells Lucie that the reason he is sharing all of this from such an unpleasant time is to let her know how grateful and happy he is with her—and will be. That night, she sneaks into his room and as he sleeps, prays over her father and kisses him.

Analysis

This is the first time Dr. Manette has been able to speak of his time in prison without falling apart or reverting to his old shoemaking insanity. It is also the first time he has told Lucie he knew her mother was pregnant when he was imprisoned. It is a testament to the healing effect that Lucie has on her father that he is able to broach such a sensitive subject and remain calm.

Readers should note, however, that seeing Charles Darnay has made Lucie unable to be happy with only her father. This statement confirms to Dr. Manette that he has done the right thing by agreeing to support the marriage. However, this also means that he will have to hear Darnay explain who he really is. Dr. Manette is willing to risk his sanity for his daughter's happiness—more evidence of the theme of self-sacrifice—and can only hope that he will recover.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about A Tale of Two Cities? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!