Love Essay

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Name ________________________________ Date ________________ A Tale of Two Cities Book II, Chapters 19 (An Opinion) and 20 (A Plea) Study Guide Chapter 19, “An Opinion” I. Notes One of the criticisms of A Tale of Two Cities is that it lacks the characters of depth and complexity that one usually associates with Dickens' novels. However, Doctor Manette is perhaps the one exception to this criticism. In his conversation with Mr. Lorry, he displays the multifaceted nature of his character, ranging from a loving father to a capable professional to a nervous victim. Although troubled by his relapse, he seems more confident in its wake, possibly because he knew Darnay's revelation might trigger a relapse and he now believes nothing else is likely to cause it to happen again. His insistence that he is not overworked and needs to work in order to balance his mind displays a self-knowledge that is especially impressive in light of the complete lack of self-awareness that he exhibited when Mr. Lorry first observed him in the Paris garret. Interestingly, his self-assurance flags only when Mr. Lorry brings up the issue of the shoemaking materials. Instantly he changes from confidence to nervous fidgeting and avoiding Mr. Lorry's gaze. As Doctor Manette explains his attachment to the bench and tools, he exposes the reality and the horror of solitary imprisonment: ". . . it relieved his pain so much, by substituting the perplexity of the fingers for the perplexity of the brain, and by substituting, as he became more practiced, the ingenuity of the hands, for the ingenuity of the mental torture. . .."In other words, the bench and tools represent a refuge into which his mind can escape when faced with the remembrance of his agony of isolation. II. Terms 1. sagacity- the quality or an instance of being sagacious; penetrating intelligence and sound judgment;

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