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Book 3, Chapter 5 Notes from A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 3, Chapter 5

Lucie spends the year and a half in a constant state of uncertainty, never knowing if her husband's head will one day be lopped off. But she passes the time by completing her usual duties and caring for her daughter. One day her father tells her that there is a window in the prison that Charles can sometimes gain access to at three in the afternoon. Whether he can get to it depends on many variables. Her father thinks that if Lucie stood at a particular spot on the street, he could see her (though she would not be able to see him). Lucie vows to go everyday, and from two to four each day, through rain, snow, wind and heat, she stands at the spot. Some days she brings her daughter, some days she goes alone, but she never knows if her husband can see her. Still, knowing that he might be able to is enough. On the third day, a woodcutter sees her and greets her in the national greeting (which has been required by law)--"Good day, citizeness." She replies, "Good day, citizen." The next day, he sees her again and greets her. He points to the prison and spreads his fingers over his eyes, then says that it is not his business. The next day, the man (who had once been a mender of roads) taunts her again, this time when she's with her daughter. As he saws his wood, he asks if the girl is Lucie's daughter, then declares that it is none of his business. He goes on sawing wood, and as the pieces fall into the basket, he declares:

"'I call myself Samson of the firewood guillotine. See here again! Loo, loo, loo; Loo, loo, loo! And off her head comes! Now, a child. Tickle, tickle; Pickle, pickle! And off its head comes! All the family!'" Book 3, Chapter 5, pg. 274

Topic Tracking: Oppression/Class Struggle 14

Lucie shudders, but continues to endure it so that her husband may see her. She passes many months this way until December. One day, as she is standing there, she hears a crowd approaching. A throng of people surrounds her, and in the middle is the wood-sawyer holding hands with The Vengeance. There are at least five hundred people, all wildly dancing and singing the song of the Revolution. Their red revolution caps swirl around her as she stands there, terrified; the mob swirling around her, advancing, retreating, breaking into pairs, then rejoining, forming separate rings around her, and singing terribly. The dance--once innocent, but now devilish--terrifies Lucie and her daughter. Her father approaches and tells her he has seen it many times, but not to be afraid, as none of them would harm her. She says she is not worried about herself, but that her husband's fate is up to the mercies of these people. He tells her that he will put him above their mercies soon. He tells her that Charles has been summoned for tomorrow. He tells her there is no time to waste, that he is well prepared but that he must take precautions. He tells her that her husband will be returned to her in a matter of hours. As they walk, they hear the terrible sound that they know too well--a cart, carrying a cargo of three dead bodies. Dr. Manette tells her that he must see Mr. Lorry.

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