Doctor Manette’s Role In A Tale of Two Cities

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Doctor Manette’s Role in A Tale of Two Cities

Introduction- Individual characters often exist as the heart of a novel.

I. A Tale of Two Cities evolved from Doctor Manette’s story

A. Doctor Manette’s story

II. “Recalled to Life”

A. Doctor Manette’s appearance

B. His revival

C. His relationship with his daughter

III. Doctor Manette’s relapses

A. His newfound strength

IV. Doctor Manette as a hero

Conclusion- Doctor Manette as the nucleus of the novel.

Individual characters often exist as the heart of the novel. They contain dynamic characteristics and occupy a central position in the novel. In A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens uses Doctor Manette as the core of his novel, Doctor Manette “is a worthy hero and a crucial piece in the puzzle”(Glancy 75). His personality and story thrusts him into the spotlight throughout the book. The novel revolves around his character.

A Tale of Two Cities evolved from Doctor Manette’s story. He has witnessed the aftermath of a rape and assault committed by two twin nobles, the Evrémondes, and is forbidden to speak of it; “…the things that you see here are things to be seen and not spoken of” (Dickens 325). But when Manette tries to report these crimes he is locked up in the Bastille. The novel is then built up through Doctor Manette’s cruel and unjustified imprisonment and the events following his release from prison(Lindsay 103). That is how he becomes the core of the novel.

Upon the opening of the novel Dr. Manette is a weak and horrific man. He is a man “recalled to life” (Dickens 24) from an eighteen-year imprisonment and has the appearance of an aged man having white hair and a ragged face; “he is a ghost, the empty shell of a man” (Glancy 69). He is very confused, so confused he cannot recall any of his past or even remember his name. “The experience of oppressive misery has not merely twisted him…it has broken down the whole system of memory in his psyche” (Lindsay 104). He is a mere victim of the past. “Dr. Manette has been driven mad, broken and goaded into a destroying curse, by eighteen years of unjust imprisonment in the Bastille” (Johnson 30). He is too accustomed to imprisonment to be able to bear freedom, which was true of many prisoners during the Revolution. But he is resurrected at the sight of his daughter, who stimulates the memory of his wife with her “threads of gold”, or her golden hair.

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