A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

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An accomplished French physician who gets imprisoned in the Bastille, and loses his mind. In his madness, Manette embodies the terrible psychological trauma of persecution from tyranny. Manette is eventually "resurrected"—saved from his madness—by the love of his daughter, Lucie. Manette also shows how suffering can become strength when he returns to Paris and gains a position of authority within the Revolution. Manette tries to return the favor of resurrection when he saves Charles Evrémonde at his trial. However, Manette is ultimately a tragic figure: his old letter from the Bastille seals Charles's fate. Falling once more into madness, Manette's story implies that individuals cannot escape the fateful pull of history.

Dr. Alexandre Manette Quotes in A Tale of Two Cities

The A Tale of Two Cities quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Alexandre Manette or refer to Dr. Alexandre Manette. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tyranny and Revolution Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of A Tale of Two Cities published in 2003.
Book 1, Chapter 6 Quotes
If you hear in my voice … any resemblance to a voice that once was sweet music in your ears, weep for it, weep for it! If you touch, in touching my hair, anything that recalls a beloved head that lay on your breast when you were young and free, weep for it, weep for it! If, when I hint to you of a Home that is before us, where I will be true to you with all my duty and with all my faithful service, I bring back the remembrance of a Home long desolate, while your poor heart pined away, weep for it, weep for it!
Related Characters: Lucie Manette (speaker), Dr. Alexandre Manette
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene of reunification between Manette and his daughter, the pathos of Manette's sorry condition joins with the bittersweet attitude of Lucie in finding her father, whom she long thought dead, alive but old and confused. Manette seems to have recognized something of his wife in Lucie, and Lucie clings to this possibility, suggesting that she has come, in a way, to replace her mother, and to offer her father a chance for a new life with her. By creating a correspondence between her own face and that of her mother, but also by making a contrast between Manette's former desolate home and the new, happy home that she hopes to make for him, Lucie stresses that it is possible to gain second chances.

For Lucie, it is as if her father had risen from the dead, since she never knew him to be alive. Learning of his presence is such a powerful feeling for her that it seems to be almost a miracle, spurring her to want to sacrifice anything for the sake of her father. This sentiment is only further prompted by her recognition of his prison-like environment, from which she hopes to rescue him.

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Book 2, Chapter 4 Quotes
Only his daughter had the power of charming this black brooding from his mind. She was the golden thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery, and to a Present beyond his misery: and the sound of her voice, the light of her face, the touch of her hand, had a strong beneficial influence with him almost always.
Related Characters: Dr. Alexandre Manette, Lucie Manette
Related Symbols: Knitting and the Golden Thread
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

Although Dr. Manette has been "resurrected" into new life by the care of his daughter Lucie, not all of the frightening power of his imprisonment has left him. He still tends to be brooding and gloomy, unable to entirely shake himself of the madness that had once enveloped his life. Still, he is clearly aware of and grateful for Lucie's strong-willed direction.

As a "golden thread," a charmed version of the threads woven by the Fates that direct our lives and the course of history, Lucie seems to possess the power to turn at least individual lives for the better, based only on her own love and commitment. Nonetheless, it is not yet clear whether or not Lucie's golden thread will prove more powerful than the Fates or history, or whether it is just one part of a greater universal plan, one in which her small actions ultimately cannot undo the all-powerful workings of Fate or history.

Book 2, Chapter 20 Quotes
My husband, it is so. I fear he is not to be reclaimed; there is scarcely a hope that anything in his character or fortunes is reparable now. But, I am sure that he is capable of good things, gentle things, even magnanimous things.
Related Characters: Lucie Manette (speaker), Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evrémonde), Dr. Alexandre Manette
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

Charles has spoken critically about Sydney Carton at dinner with the entire household that evening, and now, later at night and in private, Lucie gently reproves him for being overly harsh towards the man. Unlike Charles, Lucie is convinced that Carton may yet prove himself redeemable – he may yet have another, new life ahead of him.

Lucie is not overly naive or idealistic; she does, after all, acknowledge that Carton's past character and fortunes count a great deal against him. In that sense, he has created his own situation, and cannot be liberated from the choices he has made. At the same time, however, Lucie may well be thinking of the conversation she had with Carton, one that helped to convince her of his good intentions and possibility for redemption. It is also worth noting that in many cases in the novel it is Lucie's belief that someone can redeem themselves that allows that gives that person the strength to actually achieve redemption.

Book 3, Chapter 10 Quotes
The boy's eyes, which had been fixed on mine, slowly turned to the looker-on, and I saw in the two faces that all he said was true. The two opposing kinds of pride confronting one another, I can see, even in this Bastille; the gentleman's, all negligent indifference; the peasants, all trodden-down sentiment, and passionate revenge.
Related Characters: Dr. Alexandre Manette (speaker), Marquis St. Evrémonde
Page Number: 337
Explanation and Analysis:
This passage is part of a somewhat complex framed narrative – that is, a story within a story (within a story!). Monsieur Defarge is reading aloud a letter written by Dr. Manette, in which he related the story of a young boy horrifically mistreated by the Evrémonde family, and who soon died at their hands. Writing the letter from the Bastille, where he was imprisoned, Dr. Manette drew a broader lesson from the conflict between the peasant boy and the aristocratic Evrémondes. In a tone of remarkable prescience, given the way that revolution would develop afterwards, the letter suggests that the "negligent indifference" of the aristocrats would clash with the "passionate revenge" of the peasants until the conflict would reach a breaking point, and violence would inevitably result. 
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Dr. Alexandre Manette Character Timeline in A Tale of Two Cities

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Alexandre Manette appears in A Tale of Two Cities. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 4
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In Dover, Mr. Lorry takes a room at the Royal George Hotel. The 17-year-old Lucie Manette arrives that same afternoon, having received vague instructions to meet a Tellson's Bank employee at... (full context)
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20 years ago, Dr. Manette, a renowned doctor, married an English woman and trusted his affairs to Tellson's Bank. One... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6
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...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.... (full context)
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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... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 2
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...When Darnay glances at a young woman and her father sitting nearby (Lucie and Dr. Manette), word flashes through the crowd that these two are witnesses against Darnay. Nonetheless, Lucie's face... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 3
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Mr. Lorry, Lucie, and Dr. Manette are each called to testify: they had all met Charles aboard ship on their way... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 4
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...the trial, Charles kisses Lucie's hands in gratitude and thanks Stryver for his help. Dr. Manette is now a distinguished citizen of London. He can still become gloomy, but this occurs... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 6
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Four months pass. Mr. Lorry visits Dr. Manette and Lucie at their home. Lucie has decorated the house beautifully, but Mr. Lorry notices... (full context)
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Dr. Manette and Lucie are out, though. Mr. Lorry speaks with Miss Pross, who comments on and... (full context)
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Lucie and Manette return. Charles arrives to visit moments later. Charles tells them of his recent trip to... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 10
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...Charles now makes a passable living in London as a French teacher. Charles visits Dr. Manette. During the visit, Charles tells Dr. Manette of his deep love for Lucie. Dr. Manette... (full context)
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Charles thanks Dr. Manette for his confidence in him, and wants to return the favor by sharing a secret... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 16
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Barsad changes tactics. Knowing that Defarge was once Dr. Manette's servant, he mentions that Lucie is now married to Charles Darnay—who is in reality the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 17
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...spends the last night before her wedding to Charles with her father. She asks Dr. Manette if he believes that her marriage will bring them closer. Dr. Manette assures her that... (full context)
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For the first time, Dr. Manette talks to Lucie about his imprisonment in the Bastille. He tells her that while there,... (full context)
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Late that night, Lucie sneaks downstairs to check on her sleeping father. Dr. Manette's face is deeply worn from his trials, but he is peacefully asleep. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 18
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On the day of the wedding, Charles Darnay and Dr. Manette speak privately. When they emerge, Mr. Lorry notices that Manette looks deathly pale, though he... (full context)
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...wedding, Charles and Lucie leave for their honeymoon in Wales. The plan is for Dr. Manette to join the newlyweds after nine days. But after Lucie leaves, Mr. Lorry notices that... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 19
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On the tenth day, Mr. Lorry wakes to find Dr. Manette reading as if nothing has happened. Discovering that Dr. Manette has no memory of the... (full context)
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Mr. Lorry very discreetly describes Dr. Manette's situation, never using Manette's name. He asks what might have caused the relapse and how... (full context)
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...with the trauma. He wonders if the blacksmith tools should be removed. Looking worried, Dr. Manette answers that if manual labor helped the man get through the trauma, he should be... (full context)
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That night, after Manette has left to join Lucie and Charles, Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross remove the shoemaker's... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 21
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...older officer show them "One hundred and five, North Tower." There, they find Dr. Alexandre Manette's initials "A.M." and search the room. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 24
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...Gabelle: Evrémonde will come. Charles packs secretly, writes a letter each to Lucie and Dr. Manette, and without telling them leaves for France the following night. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 2
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Mr. Lorry is stunned when Lucie and Dr. Manette rush in. They left London immediately after reading Charles's letters. Dr. Manette's fame as a... (full context)
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Mr. Lorry whispers to Dr. Manette that the mob has gone to kill the prisoners at La Force. Horrified, Manette runs... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 3
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...Monsieur Defarge, who brings news that Charles is safe, a note for Lucie from Dr. Manette, and instructions for Lorry to let Defarge in to see Lucie. (full context)
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In the apartment, Lucie reads the note from Charles: he is fine, and under Dr. Manette's protection. She gratefully kisses one of Madame Defarge's hands, but Madame Defarge coldly withdraws to... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 4
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After four days, Dr. Manette returns. He tells Lorry that 1100 defenseless prisoners have been murdered, convicted by a self-appointed... (full context)
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Dr. Manette has been invigorated by his newfound authority. He believes his suffering has become strength and... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 5
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...it all, Lucie tries to keep a normal English household to relieve her mind. Dr. Manette reassures her that he can save Charles. He suggests that she walk near the prison... (full context)
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Moments later, Dr. Manette appears. He tells Lucie that Charles's trial will be held tomorrow, and promises her that... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 6
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...title and property, then worked as a French tutor and married a French woman: Lucie Manette. He says that he returned to France to save the life of a citizen of... (full context)
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...in prison before the trial, takes the witness stand and confirms Charles's story. Then Dr. Manette testifies, praising Charles's character and republican ideals. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 7
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Dr. Manette tries to intervene, but the soldiers tell him that he must make sacrifices if the... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 9
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...trial begins, the prosecutor announces who brought the charges: Defarge, Madame Defarge, and Dr. Alexandre Manette. (full context)
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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... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 10
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Defarge explains that Dr. Manette wrote the letter while in the Bastille to explain how he ended up in prison.... (full context)
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...family, and the other, a peasant boy with a stab wound in his chest. As Manette treated the boy, the boy told him that the young woman was his sister. After... (full context)
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...his own blood. The young woman died within a week. The nobles then offered Dr. Manette some gold in return for his silence, but he declined and returned home, disgusted with... (full context)
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The next day, the wife of the Marquis (and Charles's mother) visited Dr. Manette. Hearing what had happened, she hoped to find and help the surviving sister of the... (full context)
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Dr. Manette soon sent a letter to the authorities detailing the crimes of the Evrémonde brothers. But... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 11
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Devastated, Dr. Manette tries to apologize to Charles. But Charles stops him, and instead thanks him, acknowledging all... (full context)
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...faints. Carton carries her to a carriage and escorts her home. There, he instructs Dr. Manette to use any remaining influence to try to save Charles. Dr. Manette hurries away. However,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 12
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...prisoner. Jacques Three promises a conviction. Monsieur Defarge, however, hesitates, and suggests that poor Dr. Manette has suffered enough. (full context)
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Carton hurries home. Soon, Dr. Manette returns too, begging for his shoemaker's bench. Shocked, Carton and Mr. Lorry realize that Dr.... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 13
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...says that he did not know about her father's history and that he believes Dr. Manette was unaware of his damning letter. Charles writes much the same to Dr. Manette. He... (full context)
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...Paris barricade, guards check the papers of the passengers in a carriage: Mr. Lorry, Dr. Manette, Lucie, and "Sydney Carton," who is unconscious. They wave the carriage through. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 15
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...named after him, who will live a successful and prosperous life. He also sees Dr. Manette restored to health, and Mr. Lorry leaving all his considerable wealth to the Manette's and... (full context)