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Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities is regarded as one of his most innovative works. For one thing, there are several subplots that integrate with the main plot in amazing ways. These subplots contain both internal and external conflicts as characters both mirror and oppose each other, or their pasts affect the present conditions in which they live.
In Book the Second of this novel, the character of Dr. Manette, who has been "brought to life," finds himself immersed in internal conflicts as his past imprisonment has sorely tried his psyche. Added to his problems of trying to adjust to life with his reclaimed daughter, Dr. Manette is yet haunted by his past in the person of his daughter's suitor, Charles Darnay.
In Chapter X of Book the Second, Charles Darnay requests an interview with the physician in order to request permission to marry Lucie and to assure him that he will respect always the close bond between father and daughter. However, there is something that greatly troubles Manette. Dr. Manette agrees, but he hesitates, saying,
"If she should ever tell me that you are essential to her perfect happiness, I will give her to you. If there were--Charles Darnay, if there were--..any fancies, any reasons, any apprehensions, anything whatsoever...."
Darnay feels his own hand grow cold as the father recedes into a strange silence. Darnay then tries to explain that he has changed his name, but Dr. Manette abruptly stops him, pleading that he not reveal his past until the wedding day,
"Tell me when I ask you, not now. If your suit should prosper...you shall tell me on your marriage morning. Do you promise?"
This situation is an example of both internal and external conflict with Dr. Manette. For, he feels his experience in Beauvais. France, that wrought his eighteen-year imprisonment revived in a recognition of the face of Charles Darnay. Added to this, he wrestles with the idea that the son of his enemy asks for his daughter's hand in marriage.
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