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Roland Smith

In this chapter, one sees an interesting side of Mr. Lorry that has never really been a central part of the book prior to this point. Clearly, Mr. Lorry is a trusted employee of Tellson’s Bank who presumably has done a good job for him. Therefore, it should be no surprise that he considers Tellson’s business interests, even while trying to help his friends. However, it does seem somewhat surprising when Mr. Lorry does not want them at the bank. He does find them an apartment, and he even arranges protection for them, sending Jerry Cruncher to the apartment to make sure that they are safe. Of course, Dr. Manette’s whereabouts are unknown; he is still trying to speak with the Revolutionaries and ensure Darnay’s freedom. Finally, Monsieur Defarge comes to speak to Mr. Lorry. He tells him that Darnay is temporarily safe and has a note from Darnay to give to Lucie. Monsieur Defarge accompanies Mr. Lorry to see Lucie. On their way, they are joined by Madame Defarge and her assistant, a woman known as The Vengeance. Monsieur Defarge explains his wife’s presence by stating that he wants to ensure that they can protect Lucie and young Lucie. Lucie certainly believes this message; not only does she thank Madame Defarge, but she also begs her for assistance with her husband’s life. Of course, what Lucie does not realize is that Madame Defarge is the one who has targeted her husband for death. Moreover, Madame Defarge had also decided that all of Darnay’s family should die as well, placing Lucie and their daughter in grave danger. There is an undercurrent of espionage running through A Tale of Two Cities, and this visit by Madame Defarge certainly seems like the actions of a spy. She is not there for her stated purpose, which is to protect Lucie. On the contrary, not only does she have no intention to protect Lucie, but would actively harm her if she could.

One of the purposes of this chapter is to further highlight the differences between Lucie and Madame Defarge. Throughout the novel, Dickens approaches the idea of unnatural womanhood. He characterizes many of the women in the novel, from the aristocrat women who do not care for their own children to the women in the Revolution, as unnatural because they are not concerned with the typical domestic concerns of a woman. He contrasts them with Lucie, who is solely concerned with domesticity and kindness.

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