Study Guide

A Tale of Two Cities Volume II, Chapter Eighteen – Nine Days

By Charles Dickens

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Volume II, Chapter Eighteen – Nine Days

  • It’s the day of the wedding.
  • Everyone is ready to head to the church.
  • Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross chat amicably together. By now, they’re actually pretty good friends.
  • Darnay is in the doctor’s room, having a last-minute discussion before the wedding.
  • Suddenly, the doctor emerges from his room. He’s white as a sheet.
  • Nothing else seems to be the matter, however. He doesn’t say anything.
  • Lucie takes his arm. Together, they head to the church.
  • After the wedding, Lucie and Darnay leave for their honeymoon. Dr. Manette helps Lucie into the carriage, and then the three older people walk back to the Manettes’ house.
  • Mr. Lorry glances worriedly at the doctor. The old scared look has returned to his face.
  • Advising Miss Pross to leave the doctor in peace for the time being, Mr. Lorry decides that he’ll return later in the night to check on the doctor.
  • Sure enough, when he comes back later that evening, Dr. Manette is holed up in his room, working furiously at making shoes.
  • When Mr. Lorry tries to call out to him, the doctor doesn’t even recognize his old friend.
  • Miss Pross and Mr. Lorry hold a hurried conference.
  • They don’t want to disturb Lucie on her honeymoon, so they send her a letter supposedly written by her father.
  • They also agree to keep a constant watch on the doctor for a few days.
  • Maybe he’ll snap out of it.
  • On the first night, however, that doesn’t happen.
  • Dr. Manette takes food when it’s given to him, but otherwise he just works at his bench.
  • He doesn’t recognize anyone.
  • The same thing happens the next day.
  • And the next.
  • Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross try to talk to the doctor. He listens…but he never replies.
  • After nine days, the doctor hasn’t shaken out of his relapse.
  • If anything, he’s gotten more and more skillful at making shoes.
  • With growing terror, Mr. Lorry watches his old friend regress further and further into his prison-identity.

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