A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 2, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Four months pass. Mr. Lorry visits Dr. Manette and Lucie at their home. Lucie has decorated the house beautifully, but Mr. Lorry notices that Manette's shoe-making workbench is still in the house.
The beautiful house symbolizes the Manettes' return to life, but the presence of the workbench indicates that Manette is not yet completely free of his past.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Dr. Manette and Lucie are out, though. Mr. Lorry speaks with Miss Pross, who comments on and dismisses all the suitors who constantly call on Lucie. She adds that her brother, Solomon Pross, is the only man good enough for Lucie. Lorry remains silent, though he knows Solomon is a cheat and scoundrel. Mr. Lorry then asks if Dr. Manette ever uses his workbench or speaks about his imprisonment. Miss Pross responds that Dr. Manette does not think about his traumatic years of imprisonment.
Miss Pross's comments introduce her brother, while Lorry's skepticism establishes that Solomon is not all that he seems—he's really a spy. Dr. Manette's silence about his imprisonment and insistence on keeping his shoe-making workbench show that he has not resolved his traumatic past: he's still hiding from it.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Lucie and Manette return. Charles arrives to visit moments later. Charles tells them of his recent trip to the Tower of London, where a workman recently realized that what he had thought were someone's initials carved into a wall ("D.I.G.") were actually instructions: beneath the floor, they found the ashes of a letter. Dr. Manette nearly faints at this story.
Charles's story foreshadows what will be discovered in Dr. Manette's old cell: his carved initials and a letter telling his story. Dr. Manette almost faints because he can't face his past and senses the letter's danger, whether consciously or not.
Themes
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Sydney Carton also visits. Sitting out on the veranda as a storm approaches, Lucie tells him that she sometimes imagines that the echoes of the footsteps from the pedestrians below belong to people who will soon come into their lives. Carton says it must be a great crowd to make such a sound, and says that he will welcome these people into his life.
The storm and footsteps symbolize the oncoming French Revolution. Carton's comment is prophetic: in the end, he welcomes the Revolution into his life and sacrifices himself to the Revolution to save Lucie.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
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