A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities


Charles Dickens

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A Tale of Two Cities: Book 2, Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Returning through the village he rules and has taxed nearly to death, Marquis Evrémonde stops to question a mender of roads who the Marquis had noticed staring at his passing carriage. The man explains that he saw someone hanging on beneath the carriage who then ran off into the fields.
The stowaway represents how the Marquis is bringing his own troubles home to roost. The trouble is spreading from the cities through the country.
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The Marquis drives on, passing a shoddy graveyard. A woman approaches the carriage and petitions the Marquis for help for her husband who has recently died of hunger, like so many others. The Marquis dismissively asks the women if she expects him to be able to restore the dead man to life or to feed everyone? The woman responds that all she wants is a simple grave marker for her husband, so he won't be forgotten. The Marquis drives away.
The Marquis fails to realize that he does have the power to feed the people. But it would require sympathizing with them or even sacrificing some of his prosperity and power. The Marquis's lack of pity contrasts with Lucie's compassion. Unlike the Marquis, she has the power to restore someone to life.
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