A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities


Charles Dickens

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A Tale of Two Cities: Book 2, Chapter 17 Summary & Analysis

Lucie 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 he wants to see her fulfilled, and couldn't live with himself otherwise.
Dr. Manette clings to Lucie for his emotional security. But he does the noble thing and risks his mental health in order to ensure her happiness.
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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, he passed the time by imagining how his unborn daughter would grow up. Would she know nothing about him, or think about her lost father and weave his memory into the family of her own?
Manette's thoughts about living on in his daughter's memory after death hint at Carton's reward for his sacrifice at the end of the novel: a legacy carried on by Lucie's future family.
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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.
Manette's peaceful face is "imprisoned" in a worn body, hinting that he won't be able to escape his past quite so easily.
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