Having been "recalled to life" after being locked up in a hole of a French prison, Dr. Manette has not completely been able to reclaim his former respectable position as a physician. Instead, he has had a complete and utter mental break down and has taken up the hobby of cobbling shoes, making shoes from scratch. When Lucie and Mr. Lorry first enter the garret story, their eyes immediately discern:
"A white-haired man [who] sat on a low bench, stooping forward and very busy, making shoes" (I.2)
Clearly, Dr. Manette still struggles with the hardship of his internment; only through Lucie's love and generous affection is the doctor able to reclaim his sharp wit and be one who has truly been "recalled to life."