A Tale of Two Cities Book the Third, Chapters 14 and 15 Summary and Analysis

Charles Dickens

Book the Third, Chapters 14 and 15 Summary and Analysis


Meanwhile, as “the fifty-two awaited their fate” in La Force prison, Madame Defarge meets with Jacques Three and The Vengeance in the wood-sawyer’s shop. She no longer trusts her husband, because he is too sympathetic toward Dr. Manette. She decides to denounce Lucie and little Lucie, saying that the Evrémonde family must die out. Jacques Three assures her that his “patriotic jury” will condemn them and then fantasizes about beheading little Lucie. Madame Defarge argues that Dr. Manette must die, too, because she allegedly saw him “signalling” to Charles Darnay with Lucie during Darnay’s first imprisonment. Madame Defarge decides to visit Lucie, armed with a knife and loaded pistol. It is a crime against the Republic to mourn for the condemned, so Madame Defarge hopes to witness Lucie grieving for her husband. While Madame Defarge makes her way along the city streets, Jerry Cruncher and Miss Pross prepare for their departure from Paris. Lorry, who did not want an inspection of his carriage to be prolonged by two extra people, ordered a second carriage to convey them out of the city as quickly as possible. Miss Pross, however, worries that two carriages departing the same location will awaken suspicion, so she asks Jerry Cruncher to stop the carriage and meet her at the cathedral. He leaves, but Miss Pross is soon confronted by Madame Defarge, who demands to see Lucie. Miss Pross does not comply, and the two women fight. Madame Defarge reaches for her pistol, but it accidentally fires—killing her and permanently damaging Miss Pross’s hearing. Miss Pross, however, meets with Jerry Cruncher, and the two safely leave Paris.

Sydney Carton and the young woman ride in one of six tumbrels that “rumble” toward La Guillotine. The “regular inhabitants” are so accustomed to the...

(The entire section is 721 words.)