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ATOTC Book One Questions
English 2 Honors

Book One Questions



    7. The letter-de-cachet was one of the serious abuses of the French monarchy that led to the revolution.  Through its use, the king or a powerful nobleman could have a person suddenly or secretly thrown into prison for life without trial or even a statement of charges.  (see Mr. Lorry’s explanation to Lucie on page 20, lines 23-34)

    1. What is Mr. Lorry hinting to Lucie concerning what had happened to Dr. Manette?  Specifically, what are the “blank forms”?  From your knowledge of French history can you guess what the “dreadful place” was?


Mr. Lorry is hinting to Lucie that her father is still alive but has disappeared into the Bastille. The Blank forms are the notes that nobility can write accusing a person of a crime and immediately have them put into jail.


    1. This information helps to put part of the jigsaw together.  What important questions are raised in the mind of the reader concerning those past events in Dr. Manette’s life?


There are some questions raised in the readers mind by this passage:  What was the doctors life like that caused him to disappear, and is he really dead? “What part did he play in the action that caused his arrest?” “How did he escape?” “What did he do with his wife and child before his arrest?”


  1. Dickens often makes a word do two jobs.  The word may have a simple meaning and a more profound one.  When Dr. Manette, for example, is “recalled to life”, Dickens wants us to draw parallels between Dr. Manette’s nightmarish existence and death itself.  The cell becomes a symbol of death-in-life that Dr. Manette had to endure.
    1. Mr. Lorry thinks that he is going to “dig some one out of a grave.” (page 11, line 19)  How does this _expression apply to Dr. Manette and his imprisonment?

Lucie, Jarvis Lorry, and Madame Defarge go back to France to see Dr. Manette and hoping wthat with Lucie’s help, they might be able to bring Dr. Manette “Recalled to life,” or escape insanity. Also When Dr. Manette was imprisoned, people thought that he was actually dead. To “dig him out of a grave” would be to remind him of his former life and thus bring him “back to life.”    

    1. Chapter 3 is called “The Night Shadows.”  How does the title both describe the time of day and also symbolize Mr. Lorry’s misgivings?  What does Dickens suggest by the sunrise at the end of the chapter?

It is called this because the scene takes place during night, Lorry drifts in and out of dreams, and these shadows are his dreams, ghosts, or the people talking to him when he is half-awake. The title symbolizes his misgivings because of the mystery and fear associated with the night, relating to the mystery of Dr. Manette’s past. With the sunrise, Mr. Lorry is relieved of his misgivings because the mystery is lifted.    

    1. Dickens sometimes makes the symbol obvious.  For example, when the wine spills, someone writes “BLOOD” on the wall.  How does the bursting of the wine cask resemble the outbreak of a revolution?

By writing “BLOOD” on the wall, Dickens represents that the characters are soon planning a bloody revolution and that they were hungry for blood.



        9.By the use of foreshadowing, Dickens prepares us for events to come.  Sometimes these hints are symbolic, as well.

a.       How does the behavior of the people at the spilled-wine episode foreshadow their behavior when revolution came?


The behavior of the people when the wine is spilled is chaotic and they are only looking out to get the wine for themselves. They do not care that it is not rightfully theirs. When the revolution comes, many people will retain the mob-like attitudes they have when the wine is spilled


b.      In the ominous description of Madame Defarge, there is additional foreshadowing of events to come. What is the effect of the phrase “saw nothing”? Do you think she saw nothing? Why or why not?


The effect of the phrase “saw nothing” begs the question exactly what did she see. We believe that she did in fact see something as if she did in fact se nothing then why would the author mention it.


c.       Sometimes the foreshadowing is very subtle. It tantalizes us with just a hint, nothing more. Jerry Cruncher says, “‘You’d be in a Blazing bad way, if recalling to life was to come into fashion Jerry!’” (page 9, lines 2-3) This foreshadows important events to come. What do you think might be the explanation for Jerry’s comment?


When the wine spills it resembles the outbreak of a revolution, because when the wine spills everyone runs toward it and tries to get a drink from the wine, just like how everyone during the revolution ran towards it and wanted to become a part. The Wine is supposed to be like the blood that is spilled during the revolution.