Study Guide

A Tale of Two Cities Volume II, Chapter Twenty – A Plea

By Charles Dickens

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Volume II, Chapter Twenty – A Plea

  • The first person to visit Lucie and Darnay after they get married is Sydney Carton.
  • Are you really surprised?
  • Darnay is. He’s even more surprised when Carton makes a rather strange request: he wants to be Darnay’s friend.
  • There’s not exactly a ton of love lost between the two men, remember?
  • Nonetheless, Carton wants to be pals.
  • More specifically, he wants to be able to pop over to their house without any warning, just like an old family friend would.
  • Darnay doesn’t seem especially inclined to agree, but Carton reminds him of how Carton saved his life in court.
  • Okay, he’s got Darnay there.
  • Darnay agrees to be friends.
  • That doesn’t mean, however, that he has to like it.
  • Later in the day, he grumbles to Lucie about Carton’s strange request.
  • Astonishingly, Lucie gets a bit angry at him for saying mean things about Carton.
  • She tells Darnay to remember that they’re very, very happy together—and that Carton is very, very unhappy.
  • As she says, it’s hard for happy people to judge unhappy people. It just doesn’t seem fair.
  • Darnay seems pretty wowed by the wonderfulness of his wife.
  • The two newlyweds agree to always be kind to poor old Carton.
  • Lucie kisses Darnay and thanks him for his kindness.
  • Darnay kisses Lucie and blesses her for her compassion.
  • Life, in other words, is pretty perfect.

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