What was the Marquis St. Evremonde's wife's request to the doctor in A Tale of Two Cities?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The wife of the Marquis St. Evremonde wants to know if the girl who was attacked has a younger sister.

When Dr. Manette is called to minister to the wounds of a young peasant girl, he has no idea what he is getting himself into.  The Marquis St. Evremonde and his family just take whatever they want from their tenants, including the rape of a virginal girl who was supposed to be married. 

“She had reasons for believing that there was a young sister living, and her greatest desire was to help that sister. I could tell her nothing but that there was such a sister; beyond that, I knew nothing…” (Book 3, Ch 10)

Dr. Manette describes the wife of the Marquis as a “good, compassionate lady” who does not agree with what her husband and family do to the peasants.  It is worth noting that Dr. Manette also sees “a child, a pretty boy from two to three years old” with her.  This is Charles.  We see that he got his sensitivity and honesty from his mother.  For his sake, she wants to make her family better.

This chapter links a lot of the plot lines from the book.  We learn why Charles is different than his family, why Dr. Manette was imprisoned, and why the Defarges are so bitter.  Everything comes together, and comes crashing down on the Manette family.

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A Tale of Two Cities

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