A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 1, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The shoemaker is dressed in tatters. When Defarge asks him his name, he replies "One Hundred and Five, North Tower." Mr. Lorry then asks the shoemaker if he recognizes anyone. The shoemaker seems as if he does for a moment, but his face quickly clouds over.
Dr. Manette suffered so greatly in prison that his identity was virtually erased. He knows himself only by the room number in the Bastille, the prison in which he was held.
Themes
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Lucie approaches, with tears in her eyes. The shoemaker asks who she is. Noticing her blonde hair, he removes a necklace he wears and reveals a scrap of paper containing some golden threads of hair—stray hairs from his wife, which he has kept all these years as a spiritual escape from his imprisonment. Overcome by emotion, Manette struggles to recognize his daughter. Lucie rocks Manette's head on her chest like a child. She promises him that his agony has ended, and gives thanks to God.
Lucie's golden hair reminds Manette of his wife's golden hair. These hairs, from before and after Manette's incarceration, form a kind of bridge over his years in prison. These are the "golden threads" with which Lucie weaves a better fate for her family. Cradling Manette, Lucie is like a mother and Manette her child—a metaphor for Manette's new life ahead.
Themes
Fate and History Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Mr. Lorry and Defarge arrange for their immediate departure. Before he leaves, Manette asks to bring along his shoemaking tools. With Defarge escorting them, the group is able to get past the barricades in the street and reach a carriage. Mr. Lorry asks Dr. Manette if he wants to be recalled to life. Dr. Manette replies, "I can't say."
Dr. Manette's desire to keep his tools close at hand indicates that his emotional trauma still lies close to the surface. Dr. Manette's statement, "I can't say," indicates that he doesn't yet totally believe in the possibility that he could escape his traumatic past.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon