Notes on A Tale of Two Cities Themes

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A Tale of Two Cities Topic Tracking: Fate

Book 2, Chapter 3

Fate 1: One of the members of the prisoner's counsel happens to bear a striking physical resemblance to him under certain conditions, a fact that leads to the prisoner's acquittal when it seemed certain he would be condemned to death. The physical resemblance saves the prisoner's life.

Book 2, Chapter 6

Fate 2: Lucie's ominous vision portends that the people visiting at Dr. Manette's may be doomed to a dark fate that they cannot foresee.

Book 2, Chapter 7

Fate 3: Madame Defarge's knitting seems innocent, but she is sealing the fate of every name she knits into her register. The names she knits are people who the revolutionaries intend to kill.

Book 2, Chapter 16

Fate 4: Defarge feels secretly remorseful that forces in the world have brought together the daughter of Dr. Manette, whom he respects and cares for, with Darnay, who has ended up in his wife's knitted register of intended victims.

Book 2, Chapter 21

Fate 5: Despite her happiness, Lucie still feels the same looming sense of dread, as if she knows that fate will bring destruction to her family.

Fate 6: Dickens uses the metaphor of a storm to signal the dark fate of France, and he also invokes the sound of the imaginary echoes that haunt Lucie.

Book 2, Chapter 24

Fate 7: Darnay's past confronts him, as he realizes that he can no longer run away from who he used to be. He realizes that he must travel back to Paris to take care of unfinished business. Circumstances and factors have collided to push him toward a destiny he has spent his life avoiding.

Book 3, Chapter 1

Fate 8: Darnay begins to realize that he cannot escape his heritage; just as he was persecuted in England, he is now persecuted in France.

Book 3, Chapter 8

Fate 9: In yet another coincidence that will have important consequences for the book's characters, Miss Pross' brother turns out to be John Barsad, the spy who had visited the Defarge's and had testified against Darnay in England.

Book 3, Chapter 10

Fate 10: This is another example of how a coincidence can change someone's fate forever. Dr. Manette's letter dooms Darnay to die, a fact he could never have foreseen, as he had no way of knowing when he wrote the letter years ago that his beloved daughter would one day marry a descendant of the Evrémondes.

Book 3, Chapter 12

Fate 11: The fates of the revolutionaries and the oppressed are joined together in even more ways, as the men who caused Dr. Manette's imprisonment are Darnay's ancestors and the murderers of Madame Defarge's brother.

Book 3, Chapter 15

Fate 12: Carton's resemblance to Darnay comes into play again; he resembles him both physically and in the fact that they both love Lucie. Carton felt as if he was destined to act in the way that he did, as if his resemblance to Darnay was not just coincidental, but somehow given to him as a gift that he could use to give his life meaning.

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