What changed impression is given of Dr. Manette in "Tale of Two Cities"? This is from Book 2, Chapter 2 from "A Tale of Two Cities".

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The impression of Dr. Manette given in this chapter is somewhat improved.  When he last appeared, in Book 1, Chapter 6, he was idly making shoes and was described as "haggard", his face notable for its "hollowness" and "thinness".  The expression in the doctor's eyes at that time was largely "vacant" and "wandering", and although there remained "some long obliterated marks of an actively intent intelligence...(which) gradually forced themselves through the black mist that had fallen on him" at times, it took great effort to recall him "from the vacancy into which he always sank".  Dr. Manette was a ruined man, with only a very tenuous and fleeting hold on reality.

In Book 2, Chapter 2, Dr. Manette's mental and physical condition are somewhat improved.  He enters the courtroom where Charles Darnay is being charged on the arm of his daughter Lucie.  Dr. Manette still frequently has "a certain indescribably intensity of face...pondering and self-communing", but his demeanor is not described as being as vague and empty as before.  He also takes the initiative now in conversation in speaking to his daughter, which indicates a much stronger connection with the real world.  The healing power of Lucie's presence and care is evident when he speaks with her; when he does, he becomes "a handsome man, not past the prime of life".

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A Tale of Two Cities

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