A Tale of Two Cities


Book 2, Chapter 18

The following day is Lucie and Darnay’s wedding day.  Previously, Dr. Manette had asked Darnay to wait for the morning of the wedding to reveal his identity.  The two men have a private conversation in which Darnay reveals that he is an Evrémonde to the doctor.  Though the reader is not privy to why it is so upsetting, this information is clearly upsetting to Dr. Manette.  However, Darnay and Lucie are married and leave for their honeymoon.  They are not present to see Dr. Manette sink back into his imprisonment state.  Mr. Lorry helps Miss Pross take Dr. Manette back to the Manette household.  However, Mr. Lorry cannot stay to help care for Dr. Manette, and leaves the very competent Miss Pross to do so.  When Mr. Lorry next sees Dr. Manette, Dr. Manette is once again involved in his shoemaking.  In fact, his mental state seems to have deteriorated all the way back to where it was when he was first found; he does not seem to recognize Miss Pross or Mr. Lorry, who are both well known to him.  This episode lasts for more than a week.  However, Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross keep Dr. Manette’s condition a secret.  They do not tell his daughter or his patients about the relapse.  Instead, Mr. Lorry takes time away from work to stay with Dr. Manette and help Miss Pross care for him until he regains his mental health.  At this point, it does not make sense that Dr. Manette would suffer a relapse simply because his son-in-law is a member of the French aristocracy.  Therefore, one begins to wonder what specific event between the Evrémondes and Dr. Manette has prompted this type of extreme reaction.

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