Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities, Book II, Chs. 16-20 Due Wednesday, 12-22-10

Please answer one of the following questions using direct evidence from the text. You may choose to move beyond the questions and make connections to previous chapters as well as make predictions. NO repeats. Be precise. Be brilliant.

1. What information does Defarge get from Jacques on the police force? Where have you heard of this man before?
2. Why is Defarge depressed, and how does Madame Defarge comfort him?
3. What is the significance of Madame Defarge pinning a rose in her hair?
4. What does the spy learn from the Defarges, and what do they learn from him? Why does the spy’s information disturb
the Defarges?

5. What are the Doctor’s feelings about Lucie’s impending marriage?

6. What does Charles Darnay tell the Doctor on the morning of his marriage to Lucie?
7. What is the Doctor’s response to the combination of this information and the giving of his daughter in marriage?
8. What two things does Mr. Lorry do in reaction to the Doctor’s condition?

9. How does Mr. Lorry go about approaching the Doctor about his condition for the nine days without upsetting him?
10. What is the Doctor’s opinion about the future of Mr. Lorry’s “hypothetical” man?
11. What does the Doctor say is the one thing that could bring on another relapse? What does he mean by this?
12. What recommendation does Mr. Lorry make to the Doctor, and how does he talk him into following it?

13. What request does Carton make of Charles?
14. What does Lucie request of Charles?


  1. 8. What two things does Mr. Lorry do in reaction to the Doctor’s condition?

    Mr. Lorry does two things after seeing the Doctor's condition, once again in his state of mindless work, making shoes. On page 195, the Doctor had changed his room to make shoes again. "The bench was turned towards the light, as it had been before, and his head was bent down, and he was very busy." The Doctor has completely lost his sense and gone back to the state he was when he was in jail, several years ago. Even when Mr. Lorry tries to speak to the Doctor, "The Doctor looked at him for a moment- half inquiringly, half as if he were angry at being spoken to." (Page 195)
    Because of this, Mr. Lorry does two things. First, he decides that Lucie should not know of her father's present state, and second, that he must be kept away from anyone who knew him. To do this, Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross tell everyone that he is very ill and will need several days of rest to recover. In truth, that's very much the case, with Mr. Lorry hoping the Doctor will get over his "sickness" in a few days, and return to normal.

  2. 13. What request does Carton make of Charles?

    After Lucie and Darnay's return from their honeymoon, Carton visits them and he takes Darnay aside. In an unusually sincere tone he asks for Darnay's friendship and apologizes for his rudeness after his trial. Carton's apology to Darnay and his request to visit the family show his respect for Darnay's new place in Lucie's life and his desire to remain a small part of the family's life and thoughts. His sincerity and earnestness while he speaks to him reveals the real Carton to Darnay. This request seems a bit odd, but we see that Carton loved Lucie, but it didn't work out, so now he just wants the best for her, and he wanted to check up sometimes and be a consideration of a family friend.

  3. 2. Why is Defarge depressed, and how does Madame Defarge comfort him?

    Defarge is depressed because he is nervous that the Revolution will not come in his life time. He is nervous because he has prepared for it; and is ready. This seems very ironic, because it seems as though most people would prefer to not have a Revolution in his lifetime. This situation shows how much has changed since this period of time. Madame Defarge comforts him by comparing the revolution to lightning and an earthquake. She uses this comparision because earthquakes and lightning strike quickly with great force, but no one knows how long it will take to form.

  4. 1.What information does Defarge get from Jacques on the police force? Where have you heard of this man before?

    Jaques from the police force inform the Defarges that he may have a new spy for the revolutionaries to use. “What did Jaques of the police tell thee? Very little to-night, but all he knows. There is another spy commissioned for our quarter. There may be many more. . . but he knows of one.” Then the informant tells them that the possible spies name is John Barsad. Barsad was mentioned earlier in the book as a “the patriot Barsad, was a hired spy and traitor, an unblushing trafficker in blood, and one of the greatest scoundrels upon earth since accursed Judas.” He and Roger Cly were partner spies and they were the two men that were aboard the ship with Lucie, Lorry, and Dr. Manette.

  5. What is the significance of Madame DeFarge pinning the rose pin in her headdress #2

    Well i think that the significance of Madame DeFarge putting the pin in her headdress was a sign, to everyone that their may be trouble. I think this because right when she put the pin in her headdress, everyone left the wine shop. A second guess about the pin was that it was some kind of gang or group symbol, maybe the Jacquet's symbol.

    I think that the man who entered the wine shop has something to do with the Jacques.

    Also a question i had about the reading, i don't know if anyone can answer it but it would be great if you could. "is the man who comes into the wine shop the "spy" that they were talking about in the beginning of the chapter?" Because it gave a description of the man in the beginning, and it matched the one that they gave when the figure showed up in the doorway of the wine shop. Thanks

  6. 3. What is the significance of Madame Defarge pinning a rose in her hair?

    The significance in this movement is that the people in the wine shop quickly bowed out, leaving the place empty of everyone but the Madame, the "new comer", and Defarge. I believe that this rose is a code that Defarge and his wife created to shoo all of the people in the wine shop. As it was stated before, the Jaques tend to drink within this wineshop, so it is only natural that they should create code telling all those that sympathize with the revolution to disperse. Since Defarge was told of this "John Barsad" character ahead of time, those like the Jaques' should flee before Barsad can catch wind that they are revolutionaries, and arrest them.

    I also think the rose is a symbol of blood. Just like the chapter "The Wine Shop" there is something leading me to believe that this has a slight hint towards blood. Perhaps it is foreshadowing of what is going to happen to Barsad. Maybe he is going to be killed by the Jaques'. It is possible, they killed the Marquis.

  7. I thought it was fascinating that the destruction of the shoemaker's bench was referred to as "the burning of the body" (205), which was sort of personifying it. It was obviously the "body" of an enemy, since it had troubled the doctor, and Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross were happy and relieved to destroy it. It is also stands out a little bit. Deaths are normally tragedies, but they weren't the least bit upset, they were quite delighted.

    I also noticed when the Defarges say that lightning and earthquakes take a long time to build up but in the end are very powerful (180). I thought that they made a good analogy of the revolution. It is taking them a long time, but they are going to be very powerful eventually and will be able to overthrow.

    I am thrilled that we are finishing the book soon because I still really do not like how boring and confusing this book is. I actually fell asleep reading it today. No, I was not tired at all before I started, and I fell asleep during the first chapter we had to read. That is really saying something.

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  11. 5. What are the Doctor’s feelings about Lucie’s impending marriage?

    Dr. Manette is very excited that his daughter is getting married and living a happy life. For so long, he wondered about the life of his daughter and whether his troubles would negatively impact her. He says, “You, devoted and young, cannot fully appreciate the anxiety I have felt that your life should not be wasted.” When Lucie and her father were talking of her wedding he said to her, “My thoughts, when they were wildest, never rose near the happiness that I have known with you, and that we have before us.” This chapter sets a good feeling for readers; it makes us happy that so much is working out for the family.

    I think this book is very interesting in the way it ties everything together. At this point, the story is really picking up; as questions are answered, new ones arrive. It seems as though characters and events that we may have initially thought were insignificant end up being very important. For example, John Barsad, who seemed to be an unimportant character, reappears in chapter 16 (Still Knitting). I now believe he will play a much larger role in the story. Each detail is so well planned out that we can tell Dickens put a lot of thought into this piece.

    At the moment, I am most interested in the Defarges and their connection to the French Revolution. Their role in this story seems to be getting more and more noteworthy.

  12. 4. What does the spy learn from the Defarges, and what do they learn from him? Why does the spy’s information disturb
    the Defarges?

    The spy learns that the area in which the small wine shop that he is in, is in a poor part of town. Business in the shop is not very good.
    The Defarges learn from the spy some shocking news. They learn that Ms. Manette is getting married. The spy asks them if the know the Manettes. After saying that yes, indeed they do, the spy says to them"She is going to be married." Mr. Defarge is a little shocked by this, apparently expecting her to married much earlier "She was pretty enough to have been married long ago". This information was a bit disturbing to the couple. They doubt the truth in this statement. They think that it is false. I think that they are hoping the man that Lucie marries is a good man, because they care about her. They don't want her to end up with a criminal. "I hop, for her sake, Destiny will keep her husband out of France." is what Mr. Defarge. He is implying that there is crime in France, and for her husband to keep out of it.

  13. 10. What is the Doctor's opinion about the future of Mr. Lorry's "hypothetical" man?

    In Chapter 19, "An Opinion," Mr. Lorry's hypothetical man is in reality the Doctor himself. Due to the fact that the Doctor had no recollection of his relapse to his former, caged self, his knowledge of medicine and infection proved to be helpful in order to remedy his own illness. The cause, as hypothesized by the Doctor, is a stimulus that revived an old train of thought, as clearly the shoemaking toolbox did.

    "As to the future," said the Doctor, recovering firmness, "I should have great hope. As it pleased Heaven in its mercy to restore him so soon, I should have great hope. He, yielding under the pressure of a complicated something, long dreaded and long vaguely foreseen and contended against, and recovering after the cloud had burst and passed, I should hope that the worst was over."

    The passage above clearly shows that the malady will not plague the Doctor anymore, if so at least not to as great an extent. In fact, the destruction of the cobbler's tools do give a solution to the initial value problem.

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  15. 7. What is the Doctor’s response to the combination of this information and the giving of his daughter in marriage?

    At first, right after the Doctor had seen Lucie off with Charles, Mr. Lorry noticed a change that had come over the doctor. "He had naturally repressed much, and some revulsion might have been expected in him when the occasion for repression was gone." (pg 194) This basically says that the Doctor usually kept his feelings to himself, and some strong emotions were expected after the bride and groom had left. However, what worried Mr. Lorry the most was the frightened look on the doctor's face and the fact that he absent-mindedly grabbed his head in his hands and wandered off to his room. "But, it was the old sacred lost look that troubled Mr. Lorry; and through his absent manner of clasping his head and drearily wandering away into his own room when they got upstairs..." (pg 194)

    When Mr. Lorry got back from Tellson's Bank later that day, he heard the sound of knocking coming from the Doctor's room. Mr. Lorry found him back to the way he had been when he was being kept at the wine shop. "The bench was turned towards the light, as it had been when he has seen the shoemaker at his work before, and his head was bent down, and he was very busy." (pg 195) The information from Charles Darnay caused him to become so upset that he lost his memory again.

  16. To answer your question Ryan, the man who came into the shop was the spy John Barsad. Monsieur Defarge says this himself: "'...There is another spy commissioned for our quarter (p. 178).'" What is interesting to note is that Madame Defarge says that "'It is necessary to register him (p.178).'" This obviously means that Barsad will be "removed" from the story later on, but in the same fashion as the Marquis.

    I found the part where Dr. Manette is trapped in his past to be very similar to the first time we saw Dr. Manette is this way. Symbolically, Lucie is the person who keeps Dr. Manette "above the ground", or "recalled to life". But now that she is gone, Dr. Manette reverts to his original state. Also, when Mr. Lorry asks the Doctor to take a walk with him, it is very similar to the "Buried how long" thing-the question gets repeated a lot, but the answer is always very vague. However, this time the Doctor manages to recover almost on his own. This obviously means that the Doctor has definitely moved on from his past.

  17. 14. What does Lucie request of Charles?
    Lucie requests that Charles not be so quick to judge Carton. When she heard him speaking about Carton that night it really effected her, even though he had not really said anything too bad about him. She admits that Carton "is not to be reclaimed" but still tells Charles that he deserves more consideration and respect. She believes this because of her talk with Carton in chapter 13. He told her that he would give his life to make her happy because he loved her so much, yet knew he didn't deserve her. So it is obvious that even if he cannot fully change his ways, he means well and has a good heart. She does not tell Charles about this encounter but insists that he believe her and give Carton a chance.

  18. 6) What does Charles Darnay tell Dr. Manette on the morning of his wedding to Lucie?

    Darnay tells Dr. Manette his true identity. He tells him that he is Monseigneur Marquis' nephew, like he promised. This causes the doctor a lot of greif, "He looked so deadly pale--which had not been the case when they went in together." (193) You can see how this would be painful for Dr. Manette because his daughter is all that he has. He is pained that her daughter is going to have to go through everything that involes Monseigneur. This causes him to go into a relapse, with Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross worrying about him. I think that it is strange how all this is going on behind Lucie's back seeing as Dr. Manette and her spent the night together the day before. It seems as though they share everything and are always there for each other, but in this key part of Dr. Manette's recovery she is not there, and he chooses not to share anything with her. This news is big news, and I can see how this news can shock him. I also think that it isn't smart of Darnay to wait until the absolute last minute to share this information with the doctor, and I wonder if the timing of the situation will have an impact in the future.

  19. 14. Lucie requests Charles that he doesn't think bad of Carton. Lucie feels sympathetic for Sydney once she hears him out, rather HIS PLEA, thus the title, Plea. It is interesting how Charles changes his PRECONCEIVED opinion about Carton so easily, and I wonder how this marriage will work out. I'm guessing that Darnay will die because in Chapter 16, Darnay gets added to the Mrs. Defarge's "hitlist".

  20. 12) I am a little confused on my question. I felt that the text regarding my question was a little hard to understand. All I got out of it was when Mr. Lorry said, "I would recommend him to sacrifice it." I understand how he uses a fake scenario to understand what happens to the doctor. However, before my question it was bringing up a lot of different things. Also, was the Doctor questioning Lorry about his response? The reason I think this is because the Doctor says, "...who only deals with such material objects as guineas, shillings, and bank-notes..." I found this interesting because they have had a long conversation where it seems like they see eye to eye, but now the mood has changed a little. Almost like the Doctor can't believe Lorry's proposal because he only works at the bank. So, could anyone help me with the question? Thanks.

  21. Matt, I think I was seeing a differant part of the chapter that was answering this question. I think Mr. Lorry was trying to ask the Doctor if he had been in some kind of poain or traumatic events. He was talking about this when he saw the tools on the his bench and was thinking he might have seen or done something with them that he now had a bad memory of so he asks if he would be helping by taking the toold out so he wouldn't be reminded of the bad things anymore. The Doctor says that they help his "tortured mind" and he doesn't really see a problem with it but after Mr. Lorry keeps digging and nagging the Doctor agrees ( also for Lucies's sake) to let Lorry take the tools.

    When the Doctor leaves to go to Lucie, Miss.Pross and Lorry burn the shoemaker's bench and bury the tools.
    One thing that is now coming back is the "burrying" and "digging", these actions have kept showing up, digging out of the graves, or burrying souls, its interesting that they are digging in the ground to bury the tools.

    I hope that helped a little bit Matt, sorry it was a bit all over the place those were all the ideas I wrote down and I couldn't really fit them together any better. :)

  22. Question 12.

    To help expand on what Matt is saying I think that there is more to the answer of this question.

    I understood the answer to be in the text mr. Lorry was asking the doctor if the smiths tools should be taken away. At first the doctor says they are fine to stay. Then Mannete says they should be taken away because Lucy wants them to be gone and he makes a sacrifice for her sake. Then when Mannete leaves mr. Lorry and I think miss Pross bury the tools and in some way destroy the shoemakers bench. I dont really get why they do that but I think that is what it says.

    That is what I thought the answer to number 12 was but if anyone else has more to add please do.

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  24. I have noticed many things that were brought up from past chapters in this section of reading. As Yen noted, Dr. Manette referred back to his former state when Lucie goes away. This goes along with the "Recalled to Life" piece that was so important earlier in the book, and the idea that Lucie is the one recalling them to life. Dr. Manette ends up being recalled to life for a second time by Lucie. On page 195, Manette says: "(The shoe) ought to have been finished a long time ago." This shows the fact that when Lucie is gone, he reverts to making ladies shoes in a confined area, and is almost like a robot.

    I also noticed the increasing importance of Madame Defarge's knitting. It now has become a "hit list" full of people that are going against the Defarges. Once they heard that Barsad was a spy and was spying on them, Madame Defarge knits it into her knitting right away. She also does this with Darnay when she finds out that he is marrying Lucie. When Dickens repeats an idea often, it usually has importance later on in the novel, and I definately believe that in this situation. Dickens is clearly foreshadowing the use of Madame Defarge's knitting in Book Three, and having it play a big role in that section. This also goes against the stereotype of women in that time period. Back then, many people saw them as unimportant and unaware, but Defarge is just the opposite. She is very aware and will play a huge role in future events, just because of her knitting.

  25. Dr. Manette says that the only thing that could bring up another relapse is if he is reminded of the thought that caused the first one. “(I don’t think) that anything but the one train of association would renew it. I think that, henceforth, nothing but some extraordinary jarring of that chord could renew it. After what has happened, and after his recovery, I find it difficult to imagine any such violent sounding of that string again. However, he also says that the chances of a relapse are unlikely and that since he has already thought of the terrible memory once, it is doubtful to happen again. “I trust, and I almost believe, that the circumstances likely to renew it are exhausted.” Dr. Manette tries to deal with these haunting memories by keeping his mind occupied with other things, “The less it was occupied with healthy things, the more it would be in danger of turning in the unhealthy direction. He may have observed himself, and made the discovery.”
    This causes Mr. Lorry to falsely believe that he is overworking himself, and perhaps the stress has caused the relapse, and while the Doctor assures him this is not the case, I don’t think that Mr. Lorry was completely convinced.

  26. Throughout this book I’ve been noticing how strange and secretive the Defarges have been. Especially in the chapter, “Still Knitting,” I keep getting the sense that they are the bad characters of this book. I picture them together in a corner whispering about everything that is going on but act as if they have no idea when they are in public. I think Charles Dickens purposely made Madam Defarge a strange, dark, and secretive kind of character to keep the mood of the overall book intact. His goal is to give the readers the feeling of an upcoming outburst of the French Revolution. He’s letting us know that it is not a happy, glorious, and cheerful case. Madam Defarge’s way of thinking is basically shown on page 179; she says,
    “Age , about forty years; height, about give feet nine; black hair; complexion dark; generally, rather handsome visage; eyes dark, face thin, long, and sallow; nose aquiline, but not straight, having a peculiar inclination towards the left cheek; expression, therefore, sinister!” It is almost creepy and scary how she knows even the smallest details about this person when she acts so unaware and clueless. I can predict that the Defarges will play a big role later on in the book because they are basically stirring the revolution.
    In the last paragraph of this chapter, it says, “Darkness closed around, and then came the ringing of church bells and the distant beating of the military drums in the palace Courtyard, as the women sat knitting, knitting.” (187) This last quote has a lot of meaning to it; it is giving a dark and eerie setting and it is letting the reader know that something big is going to happen. The second part of the quote explains the women knitting which gives you a sense of how calm they are about all this. From the past reading though, we are aware that the Defarges know exactly what is happening and they are keeping an eye on the “lightning and earthquake.”

  27. Chapter 16, Still Knitting, it became more clear how ominous Madame Defarge is and how she really does know everything going on. For example, when the spy comes into the wine shop, Madame Defarge had already known the existence and appearance of the spy, therefore recognizing him when he comes in. We are able to witness just how all-knowing she is. As some people have pointed out, the fact that Madame Dafarge is still knitting is emphasized throughout the chapter. The knitting represents all of the knowledge she has collected and how she never forgets anything. She seems to always be busy, like how the inside of her mind is always working away.

    I got the impression that in the marriage Madame Defarge is the one with the most control, Monsieur Defarge tries to listen to her and follow her lead. She reassures him the work they are doing is important. “Nothing that we do is done in vain. I believe with all my soul, that we shall see the triumph. But even not, even if I knew certainly not, show me the neck of an aristocrat or tyrant, and still I would—” Then madame, with her teeth set, tied a very terrible knot indeed.” (pg. 180) This shows viciousness, how passionate she is about the matter; Madame Defarge is very invested in the whole movement. Charles Dickens is a master at creating this mood around her that makes you feel like Madame Defarge is a character to be afraid of, a woman capable of very sinister things. The Defarges seem to represent the common people of the French Revolution so it’s interesting that they are portrayed in this manner.

  28. 14. What does Lucie request of Charles?

    Lucie Requests that Charles not judge Carton so abrubtly. On first glance, Carton doesn't exactly give off the best vibe. His life is in a jumble, he is a heavy drinker, and just doesn't seem to care. However, Lucy has seen a different side of him. She knows that Carton is a good man, because earlier on in the book, they had a one on one discussion in which Carton said many thoughtful and caring things. He said he cared very much about Lucy,and that she had given him new hope in his life too start over, and he also proclaimed that he would do anything for her, EVEN give his life in order to save her or those who mean a great deal to her. So from Lucies perspective, she sees that in Carton's case, it's the inside that counts, not the outside. She knows Carton has a kind soul, but just may make a few bad decisions in life. Darnay does not know of this conversation, but Lucie pleads him to trust her, and just have faith in Carton.

  29. 2. Why is Defarge depressed, and how does Madame Defarge comfort him?

    Defarge is sad because he is worried that the revolution will not start before he dies. He has prepared and does not want that to go to waste. Madame Defarge comforts him by comparing the revolution to lightning and an earthquake, both strike quickly and with great force, but you don't know when it's going to happen.