What is revealed about Lucie's character through her reaction to the news that her father is still alive in A Tale of Two Cities?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The chapter you want to look at is Chapter Four of Book the First, which reports the conversation that Mr. Jarvis Lorry has with Miss Lucie Manette when he reveals to her that her father is still alive. What is key to note is the physical response with which Lucie greets this news and how it reveals what a typical Dickensian heroine she is:

A shiver ran through her frame, and from it throgh his. She said, in a a low, distinct, awe-stricken voice, as if she were saying it in a dream,

"I am going to see his Ghost! It will be his Ghost--not him!"

The complete shock and silence with which she greets this news reveals the tender nature of her character, and how she is presented as a weak female figure in need of support from other characters, as the swift arrival of Miss Pross to restore her amply demonstrates. Interestingly, Dickens pictured Lucie Manette as the perfect female, and the way she exposes her vulnerability and weakness in response to the news of her father's existence illustrates this, and also Dickens' rather chauvanistic notions of what a "perfect female" constituted.

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A Tale of Two Cities

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