We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

  

by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities Volume II, Chapter Four – Congratulatory Summary

  • As Lucie and her father step out of the courtroom, our narrator takes some time to catch us up on their lives.
  • Doctor Manette is looking worlds better.
  • Our narrator is pretty sure that this is all Lucie’s doing: she's brought him back to life.
  • Everyone congratulates everyone else on Darnay’s release.
  • Mr. Stryver, Darnay’s lawyer, seems to be taking most of the credit for the legal maneuver that saved his life.
  • Of course, that would be forgetting Carton’s role in the affair—which our narrator wouldn’t want us to do.
  • Unsurprisingly, pointing out the similarity between Carton and Darnay was Carton’s own idea. He was the brains behind the operation.
  • Mr. Lorry asks if "a man of business" might now approach Charles Darnay.
  • As we quickly realize, however, anytime Mr. Lorry wants to be a "man of business," it rarely works well.
  • He’s soon congratulating Charles just like everyone else.
  • Carton, who still seems pretty cynical about the justice system (hmm… wonder why?), wants to get out of the general area of the court.
  • He asks Darnay to come out to dinner with him.
  • Aww… a blossoming friendship?
  • Well, not exactly. Darnay can’t seem to break through Carton’s cynicism. And Carton’s already seen how Darnay looks at Lucie.
  • In fact, just because Carton seems to like rubbing salt in his own wounds, he gets Darnay to propose a toast to "Miss Manette!"
  • After sharing a drink or two together, Carton’s pretty sure he doesn’t like Darnay.
  • Darnay sure doesn’t like Carton.
  • Perhaps they might even get into blows over a girl… until, of course, Darnay realizes that Carton has just saved his life.
  • Before they part, however, Darnay wants to know why Carton seems so angry and depressed.
  • Muttering that he’s a "disappointed drudge," Carton says that he’s been worth nothing all his life.
  • As Darnay leaves, Carton engages in a little bit of existential self-questioning.
  • Why hasn’t he been able to change his own circumstances in life? Why isn’t he ever able to change his ways or become a better human being?
  • Tough questions. And Carton’s got no answers.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...