Chapters 23 and 24: Evremonde Chateau
Despite the pleas from the servants at the chateau, the local villagers burn
it down and they threaten Gabelle, the village officer.
A further three years pass and the French Revolution have successfully
removed the ruling classes. Many of the French aristocracy have fled to England and Tellson’s Bank is the main source for obtaining information from France.
A letter addressed to the Marquis St. Evremonde surfaces and Darnay learns
of this. He reads the letter and it has come from Gabelle who has been imprisoned for acting as Darnay’s steward indirectly.
Darnay feels guilty about Gabelle’s imprisonment and decides to respond to his pleas for help. Naively be believes that he can reason with the Revolutionary forces and decides to depart for France alone. He arranges for a letter to go to Lucie and her father explaining the situation.
The Revolution spreads to the countryside and the chateau is burned to the
ground and the mob is led by four members of the Jacquerie who Dickens names as East, West, North and South, for they will continue their crusade against the aristocrats in all four directions of the compass.
Darnay is the epitome of justice and duty and he feels a responsibility to
try and rescue Gabelle who was a loyal servant to the family. He is unaware of the dangers he will face and that he appears on Mme. Defarge’s register. He believes he will be treated as a common man.
Again, Dickens uses the resurrection theme for Darnay’s attempts to
resurrect Gabelle draw him into danger. He is, in fact, effectively burying himself alive.