A Tale of Two Cities

by: Charles Dickens

Imprisonment

1

He had naturally repressed much, and some revulsion might have been expected in him when the occasion for repression was gone. But, it was the old scared lost look that troubled Mr. Lorry; and through his absent manner of clasping his head and drearily wandering away into his own room when they got up-stairs, Mr. Lorry was reminded of Defarge the wine-shop keeper, and the starlight ride.

Here, the narrator explains that Mr. Lorry notices Doctor Manette’s mannerisms after the wedding of Lucie and Darnay. Manette had learned that Darnay’s last name is that of the aristocrats he saw abuse a peasant family, an event that landed Manette in jail and a scene he could not put out of his mind. Without knowing the cause of Manette’s distress, Mr. Lorry recognizes that he is acting similarly to when Mr. Lorry and Lucie first found him in Defarge’s attic. Manette’s behavior shows that while he is physically out of prison, he is always capable of returning to that state of mind.

2

The universal watchfulness so encompassed him, that if he had been taken in a net, or were being forwarded to his destination in a cage, he could not have felt his freedom more completely gone.

The narrator reveals that when Darnay returns to France to help his former servant, he feels as though his actions are under constant surveillance. Throughout the novel, we see several characters in physical prisons. However, the atmosphere caused by the revolution leads Darnay to feel as though he is in prison even when he is a free man. His constant feeling of imprisonment and oppression reflects the overpowering sense of suspicion in France after the revolution.