Doctor Manette

Topics: Prison, A Tale of Two Cities, Bastille Pages: 1 (363 words) Published: March 14, 2013
At the start of the novel, Manette does nothing but make shoes, a pastime that he adopted to distract himself from the tortures of prison. He was in jail for 18 years. He is clearly not in his right mind during this time; he speaks only when necessary, and has become so used to being a prisoner that he can hardly bear light or freedom. As he overcomes his past as a prisoner, due to his daughter's love and devotion to him, however, he reassummes his occupation as a physician in England, and proves to be a kind, loving father who prizes his daughter’s happiness above all things. He even blesses her marriage to Charles Darnay; the son of the man who was responsible for his imprisonment. When Charles Darnay is arrested in France during the French Revolution, Manette is his witness that he is innocent.Dickens uses Doctor Manette in his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, to illustrate one of the dominant motifs of the novel For much of the novel, the cause of Manette’s incarceration remains a mystery both to the other characters and to the reader. Even when the story concerning the evil Marquis St. Evrémonde comes to light, the conditions of Manette's imprisonment remain hidden. Though the reader never learns exactly how Manette suffered, his relapses into trembling sessions of shoemaking evidence the depth of his misery. Like Carton, Manette undergoes a drastic change over the course of the novel. He is transformed from an insensate prisoner who mindlessly cobbles shoes into a man of distinction. Manette’s transformation testifies to the tremendous impact of relationships and experience on life. His daughter "recalls him to life" after he is rescued from his cell in the Bastille. He is imprisoned because he knows a secret of the Evrémonde family that they are afraid he will release, causing the end of their wealth, influence, and power. through the novel Dr. Manette is a proven good soul, but his memories of his time in false imprisonment has had a negative effect on him....
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