A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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Book the Second, Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis


The Marquis dines alone in his chateau, waiting for his nephew to arrive. He thinks he hears something outside and asks his servant to draw the blinds, but nothing appears. The Marquis’s nephew arrives, and we learn that it is Charles Darnay. The two, who clearly have an uneasy relationship, discuss some of the mysterious details surrounding Darnay’s treason trial. Darnay believes that their family name is hated all throughout France, but the Marquis argues that “detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low.” Darnay is not convinced and insists that the family stop oppressing the poor. His uncle refuses, saying that he will “die perpetuating the system under which [he has] lived.” Darnay renounces France and his inheritance, saying that he will settle down in England. They retire for the evening.

The Marquis paces for awhile in his chamber and then falls asleep. In the morning, the peasants are crowded around the fountain in the village, buzzing with the...

(The entire section is 321 words.)