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“The Substance of the Shadow”

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1 “The Substance of the Shadow”
Book III Chapter 10 “The Substance of the Shadow”

2 Title Significance Throughout the novel, especially in France, a “shadow” has loomed over Darnay and those associated with him. In this chapter, the cause of the shadow is revealed, and could be interpreted in multiple ways. The events that Dr. Manette witnessed over twenty years ago are now coming back to haunt him and his loved ones. This “substance” threatens to ruin the lives of Darnay, Lucie, Dr. Manette, Lorry, Pross, Carton, Little Lucie, and probably countless others.

3 Plot Summary Defarge produces Dr. Manette’s letter from 1767, written ten years into his imprisonment at the Bastille. The letter describes events from 1757, when the younger physician, Manette, made a house call for Marquis Evremonde (Darnay’s father) and his brother. Manette is asked to care for a shrieking woman, who continually screams “My husband, my father, and my brother!” for hours on end. The noble brothers ask Manette if he needs medicine for the girl, offering what Manette identifies as poison for her. Manette also tends to this woman’s brother, who is suffering from a stab wound. The stabbed brother is a peasant who attempted to rescue his sister from the nobles, but was stabbed by the future Marquis.

4 Cont… It is discovered that Marquis Evremonde’s brother (the future Marquis who is slain at the chateau), has raped the woman, killed her husband, and stabbed her brother. Berfore the stabbed brother dies, he promises that the Marquis and all of his descendants shall pay the price for their wickedness. The raped woman takes about a week to finally die, never revealing her family name to Manette. The noble brothers care not for her dying state, but Manette feels like he’s dying along with her. The Marquis Evremonde (Darnay’s father) requests that Manette not discuss these events with anyone. Evremonde’s wife arrives at Manette’s home and offers to help the deceased woman’s sister. Manette is unsure about this sister’s whereabouts, and thus no help is given. Manette is imprisoned due to his knowledge of the future Marquis’ actions, and spends the next 18 years in the Bastille. Manette’s letters are finished being read to the Tribunal and Charles Darnay is sentenced to death.

5 An easier view… Woman is kidnapped
Husband is dragged from a cart and kept outside in the cold as punishment Brother is stabbed in attempt to save her Younger sister flees into hiding Dr. Manette is imprisoned for his knowledge about the rape Father dies after hearing of her abduction

6 Literary Devices Dramatic Irony: “Your reputation is high, and, as a young man with your fortune to make, you are probably mindful of your interest” (340). ~This is ironic because we know that Manette will spend the next 18 years losing his mind in the Bastille, with no reputation and no fortune. Oxymoron: “I was brought here, I was brought to my living grave” (344). ~Grave signifies death, so the phrase “living grave” juxtaposes these contradicting elements. Anaphora: “…obliged to work for him without pay, obliged to grind our corn at his mill, obliged to feed scores of his tame birds on our wretched crops…” (337). ~Repetition of the word “obliged” to emphasize the lack of freedom of the peasants.

7 Essential Quote “’Much influence around him, has that doctor?’ murmured Madame Defarge, smiling to The Vengeance. ‘Save him now, my doctor, save him!’” (345).

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