After four days, Dr. Manette returns. He tells Lorry that 1100 defenseless prisoners have been murdered, convicted by a self-appointed Tribunal. The Tribunal also nearly condemned Charles to death, but Dr. Manette was able to sway the crowd and Charles was returned to his cell.
Although Charles's trial in England was unfair, the French Tribunal is depicted as even more monstrous, a total sham of justice. Dr. Manette seems to have brought Charles back to life.
Dr. Manette has been invigorated by his newfound authority. He believes his suffering has become strength and power, capable of breaking Charles out of prison. Having earned the respect of the revolutionaries, he has been made the inspecting physician of a number of prisons, including La Force. In this new role, he can protect Charles. However, as time passes, he cannot seem to get Charles freed.
The novel implies that through suffering comes redemption, and that faith can empower people to break the pull of fate of history. Yet even Dr. Manette's political power is not enough to free Charles.
A year goes by. The Revolution gains in force. The King and Queen of France are beheaded. As the revolutionaries grow stronger, their courts zealously prosecute people, guilty or not. Suspicion reigns. Civil freedoms disappear.
After the Republic was declared in France in 1792, the "Reign of Terror" began: a period of spying, fear, and escalating numbers of executions.
The guillotine becomes an institution, and guillotines can now be found in the streets all over Paris. The narrator says that in Paris the guillotine has come to replace the Cross as an idol for worship.
The guillotine, a tool to make it easier to execute people by beheading, has become a sacrilegious idol in place of Christ. This signals that compassion, in France, is dead.