Is Darnay finally safe from the French Revolution??"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Charles Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities," Charles Darnay attempts, by honoring his mother's wishes, to help a woman whom his uncles have harmed, but he is arrested as a spy and place on trial in England.  Thanks to the quick thinking of Sydney Carton, a dissipated barrister who works with Mr. Stryver, Darnay is found not guilty.  With this reprieve, Charles Darnay, who has changed his surname to that of his mother, attempts seek refuge in England where he marries Lucie Manette.

However, fate intervenes and Darnay receives a letter from Gabrielle, a servant, who informs his master that he has been placed in prison by the revolutionaries.  In an attempt to help this family servant, Darnay is arrested and sentenced, based on a letter written by Dr. Manette testifying to the crimes of the Evremondes.  As he awaits his execution, Darnay is saved by the intervention of Sydney Carton, who drugs Darnay and places himself in line for execution while Darnay is smuggled out as Carton.  As Carton resembles Darnay so much, the revolutionaries believe that the son of the Evremonde who violated Mme DeFarge as a young girl meets his death by guillotine.  However, the reader knows that an exchange of life has been made.  And, the Sydney Carton who returns to England is a different man.

Since Mme DeFarge is also killed by Lucie's nurse, Miss Pross; and, since a man has gone to his death on the guillotine, Charles Darnay should be safe from the revolutionaries in England.

Read the study guide:
A Tale of Two Cities

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question