Chapter 4: The calm before the storm
Four days elapse and finally Dr. Manette returns from the prison. He
has tried to influence the court tribunal to release his son-in-law, but all he has achieved is his safety for the time being.
He describes the situation as very volatile saying that the mob is acting erratically. Prisoners are condemned or freed at a whim. Both decisions bring elation from the mob.
The Doctors reputation spreads as time passes, but after fifteen months
there has been no change in the situation.
Dickens has kept links with the historical past by having Darnay imprisoned
in September 1792 when around fourteen hundred prisoners were killed at that time. It is clear that without the Doctor’s influence Darnay would have been killed straight away.
The reader is prepared for the final conflict between love and hate.
The tension grips the reader due to the excellent story telling of Dickens.
Dickens also makes a comment about the loss of Christian faith by the
population in Paris at the time.
The new Government stated that the only religion in France was that of Liberty and Equality, denouncing the Catholic religion. They renamed the Notre Dame Cathedral as the Temple of Reason and the people now worshipped the guillotine instead of the cross.
The executioner is nicknamed Samson, illustrating that they are living by
the vengeful law of the Old Testament – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.