A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 3, Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After a while, Barsad leaves and Carton explains to Mr. Lorry that if Charles is convicted, Barsad will smuggle Carton into Charles's cell. Refusing to explain anything more, Carton asks that Lucie be told nothing about the plan. He then asks if Mr. Lorry is satisfied with his long life. Mr. Lorry replies that, nearing the end, he feels closer again to his life's beginning. Carton says he knows the feeling. Mr. Lorry gains a new respect for Carton.
Carton's exchange with Lorry suggests that Carton plans to sacrifice himself and expects to die. As always, he works for other people without taking credit, but this time he works for a greater cause. Mr. Lorry's sense of returning to the beginning takes on a religious tone with Carton: he will be reborn in heaven.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon
Carton visits a pharmacy and buys a mysterious packet of drugs that the chemist warns are very potent. All night, Carton wanders the streets of Paris. As he walks, he remembers a prayer the priest spoke at his father's funeral: "I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die."
The prayer Carton remembers comes from the story of Jesus and Lazarus, whom Jesus resurrects in the Bible (John 11:25). The line says that Jesus will resurrect and give eternal life not only to Lazarus, but to anyone who believes in him.
Themes
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resurrection Theme Icon
As he continues to walk, he encounters a young girl, whom he helps across the street. She kisses him, and once more Carton remembers the prayer.
Carton is showing compassion to others, and receiving blessings (the kiss) in return.
Themes
Sacrifice Theme Icon
Carton arrives at the courthouse the next morning for Charles's trial, where Jacques Three is the head of the jury. As the trial begins, the prosecutor announces who brought the charges: Defarge, Madame Defarge, and Dr. Alexandre Manette.
Like the wood-sawyer, Jacques Three enjoys political executions. As in Charles's first trial, Manette is again forced by fate and history to serve as a witness for the prosecution.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
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The court erupts in chaos. Manette objects that he never denounced Charles. The judge silences him. Defarge then takes the stand and explains how, during the storming of the Bastille, he searched Manette's old cell and found a letter hidden in the chimney. The judge asks that it be read aloud.
Manette's hidden letter recalls Charles's story about the Tower of London. It represents all the trauma and revenge that Dr. Manette has repressed, consciously or unconsciously.
Themes
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
Secrecy and Surveillance Theme Icon
Fate and History Theme Icon
Imprisonment Theme Icon