In A Tale of Two Cities, what does Lucie's not collapsing as Charles is condemned, say about her?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As a character in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Lucie Mannette represents the typical Victorian heroine.  Her fainting fits as witnessed in the beginning book and in Chapter VI of Book the Third when Charles is released from the charges in France through the intervention of Dr. Manette--

Her father had gone on before, to prepare her, and when her husband stood upon his feet, she dropped insensible in his arms--

Lucie's relentless earnestness, too---she insists that she hears "echoing footsteps" at Soho and she fears that something terrible will happen after Charles is released--is doubtless part of the concept of Victorian womanhood.

However, when Charles Darnay is again denounced by the Defarges, and the Bonnets Rouges/ Jacques come for him, Lucie does not swoon and faint.  Is this conduct out of character?  Chapter XXI of Book the Third mentions,

The wretched wife of the innocent man thus doomed to die, fell under the sentence, as if she had been mortally stricken.  But, she uttered no sound; and so strong was the voice within her, representing that it was she of all the world who must uphold him in his misery and not augment it, that it quickly raised her, even from that shock.

Lucy, though shocked, is a devoted Victorian wife, who must be brave for the sake of Charles; she must show him her "love and consolation" as he walks out.  For the sake of her husband, Lucie is brave.  As Charles is allowed to kiss her by leaning over the dock, and to bear her farewell:  "We shall meet again, where the weary are at rest!"  Lucie replies,

"I can bear it, dear Charles.  I am supported from above; don't suffer for me.  A parting blessing for our child."

As Charles is drawn away and taken, Lucie stands

looking after him with her hands poised in an attitude of prayer, and with a radiant look upon her face, in which there was even a comforting smile.  As he went out at the prisoners' door, she turned, laid her head lovingly on her father's breast, tried to speak to him, and fell at his feet.

True to her Victorian role, Lucie is earnest and devoted to her husband.  However, she is also very delicate in her condition, and swoons as soon as Charles is taken away.

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