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How is Dr. Manette changed by saving Charles Darnay? How does he now look on his long...

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james101 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 14, 2010 at 2:07 PM via web

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How is Dr. Manette changed by saving Charles Darnay? How does he now look on his long years of imprisonment?

Please be specific for how he is changed hand how he looks on his imprisonment.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 14, 2010 at 9:56 PM (Answer #1)

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After testifying successfully on behalf of Charles Darnay and effecting his son-in-law's freedom, Dr. Manette is in danger of fainting because the crowd that rushes toward him with fraternal embraces could just as easily have rushed at him "to rend him to pieces and strew him over the streets."  Nevertheless, he is put into a great chair and carried above the crowd.  As his daughter lays her head upon his chest, the doctor is glad that he has been able to return her a great favor just as she has rescued him:

Her father, cheering her, showed a compassionate superiority to this woman's weakness, which was wonderful to see.  No garret, no shoemaking, no One Hundred and Five, North Tower, now!  He had accomplished the task he had set himself, his promise was redeemed, he had saved Charles.  Let them all lean upon him.

With the recurring theme of resurrection in A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens here portrays a man who has had his manhood and moral strength renewed.  Manette feels, too, that his years of imprisonment have served some good in saving his son-in-law from the guillotine. 

In Chapter 7 of Book the Third, when there is a knock on their door and Lucie is frightened, the doctor chides her,

...command yourself....The least thing--nothing--startles you.  You, your father's daughter....What weakness is this, my dear!  Let me go to the door.

When the revolutionaries summon again Charles Darnay, Dr. Manette takes one by the front of his woolen shirt and bravely asks him, "Do you know me?"  He demands to know who has denounced Darnay and is able to obtain the information that the Defarges do, but the man will not reveal "the other."

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