Chapters 17, 18 and 19: The Wedding
On the eve of Lucie’s wedding, she and her father discuss the forthcoming
events and Lucie assures her father that her love for Darnay will not interfere with their relationship. He tells her that when he was in prison he would think about the child he had never known, and wondered
what her fate would be. He is grateful for the happiness she has brought into his life.
As arranged, on the morning of the wedding, Darnay and the Doctor have their
Lucie and Darnay depart on their two-week honeymoon.
Dr. Manette is subdued and Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross take care of him.
Mr. Lorry says that he has some important business to take care of, but he will return soon.
However, the Doctor suffers a relapse that lasts for ten days. After this time he acts as if nothing has happened and Mr. Lorry suggests that they should dispose of his bench and tools, and the Doctor agrees saying that he does not expect to have any further relapses. The Doctor leaves to join Lucie and Darnay on their trip.
The future looks bright for the Manettes filled with the promise of love and
The Doctor too has been successful in keeping the extent of his sorrows and
hardships from his daughter so as not to taint her future. This is in contrast to the future that the Defarges look forward to which is one of vengeance and violence.
The Doctor is fortunate that he has overcome the need for revenge thanks to
the care he has received from Lucie.
The reader cannot be content in the Manettes’ happiness because we know that
the Defarges have identified Darnay and have vowed to destroy the entire Evremonde line including any children that result from Lucie and Darnay’s marriage.
A Tale of Two Cities differs from the other novels of Dickens in respect
that the characters lack depth and complexity with the exception of Dr. Manette.
The passage describing his conversation with Mr. Lorry in Chapter 19 reveals the diversity of Manette’s character ranging from a doting father, to a capable professional, to a vulnerable victim. He seems convinced that he is over the relapses and this is confirmed by his agreement for the bench and tools to be disposed of, these being the symbols of the refuge he would go to in order to escape reality in prison.