Lucie Manette in Tale of Two Cities: Character Analysis & Quotes

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  • 0:02 Who Is Lucie Manette?
  • 0:56 Lucie and Sydney Carton
  • 2:20 Lucie Manette Quote
  • 3:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Debbie Notari
In 'A Tale of Two Cities,' by Charles Dickens, we are introduced to a young woman who portrays both innocence and unconditional love and embodies compassion. In this lesson, we will get to know this young woman, Lucie Manette.

Who Is Lucie Manette?

In Charles Dickens' novel, A Tale of Two Cities, the character of Lucie Manette is French by nationality but is raised on English soil. She grows up believing that she is an orphan. However, as a young adult she discovers that her father, Doctor Manette, is actually alive and has been held in the Bastille, a French prison. When the Bastille falls, Doctor Manette has by this time lost his memory. He becomes a shoemaker. We first meet Lucie when she is given this news and is introduced to her long-lost father.

We might expect Lucie to either disbelieve that this man is her father, or choose to keep him out of her life. Either choice would be understandable. But Lucie is so compassionate that she welcomes her father back into her life with open arms. Little by little, her kindness and acceptance helps her father recover. This is the type of good character we see in Lucie.

Lucie and Sydney Carton

Sydney Carton is a rough, hard-drinking character who brings about the release of Charles Darnay, Lucie's future husband, both at the beginning of the story and at the end. Unlike all of the other characters in the story, Lucie sees through Carton's rough exterior to his wounded heart beneath.

In a conversation with Carton, he reveals that he loves Lucie, in a roundabout way, but that he knows he is not worthy of her. He simply wants her to know and to guard his secret. He says:

'I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul. In my degradation I have not been so degraded but that the sight of you with your father, and of this home made such a home by you, has stirred old shadows that I thought had died out of me. Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were silent for ever. I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.'

It's important to look at this quote because we see what a good influence Lucie has had on Sydney Carton, someone who others tended to write off as very lost.

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