A Tale of Two Cities Book the Second, Chapter 15 Summary and Analysis

Charles Dickens

Book the Second, Chapter 15 Summary and Analysis


The chapter begins in Ernest Defarge’s wine shop in Saint Antoine. The shop is crowded, though most people are too poor to drink any of the wine. Madame Defarge knits quietly, appearing to take little notice of her surroundings. Monsieur Defarge arrives, accompanied by a mender of roads. Defarge instructs his wife to provide their guest (“Jacques”) with wine, as he is “a good child.” Three men depart the wine shop while the mender of roads consumes a crust of bread and some wine.

After finishing his breakfast, the mender of roads follows Monsieur Defarge up to the garret where Dr. Manette used to live in confinement. The three men who left the wine shop earlier are standing outside the door. They are the same men who used to watch Dr. Manette while he made shoes. Monsieur Defarge informs them that the mender of roads is a witness and that he “will tell you all.” We learn that the mender of roads lives in the late Marquis’s village and that he was the man who told the Marquis about a suspicious person hanging by a chain under his carriage. This person was the father of the child who was killed by the Marquis. He took revenge by slaying the Marquis in his bed and disappeared before anyone could catch him. Months later, he was seen being marched by soldiers to the gaol that overlooks the village....

(The entire section is 597 words.)