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Defarge states his reasoning for showing off Dr. Manette to the Jacques to Lucie Manette by saying he shows him to those "to whom the sight is likely to do good". It is clear that Defarge is using Dr. Manette as a symbol of the excesses of the barbarism of the French aristocracy, and it would be assumed that his case would be well known, as by the end of the story we are told that Dr. Manette was a very famous and up and coming doctor before his completely unjust imprisonment. The descent and breaking of Dr. Manette's mind would have been an apt spur to all revolutionaries to give impetus to the rising tide of violence that is finally unleashed in the course of the novel.
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