Hundreds of People A Tale of Two Cities Book 2 Chapter 6 (FORESHADOW)
Significance of “Hundreds of People” • At the beginning of the chapter, after Lorry arrives at the home of the Manettes’s, Miss Pross complains to him about the “hundreds” of men who come to the house in pursuit of Lucie Manette’s hand in marriage. Miss Pross deems them to be unworthy of her “Ladybird”. • At the end of the chapter, when Lucie observes a likeness between the sound of rain on the roof of a house with the sound of footsteps, Carton replies that if that were the case, the heavy rain could only be made by many footsteps…
Characters • Mr. Lorry has become a good friend of the Manette’s and Miss Pross and visits their home, which he has come to consider his second home, every Sunday; making it the highlight of his otherwise lackluster week. • Dr. Manette has gotten back to his old way of life, but is plagued by the haunting memory of his time in the Bastille and keeps his shoemaker’s bench in display in his home as a constant reminder that no matter how he seems, he has not fully recovered yet. • Miss Prossis the wild, red woman from Mr. Lorry’s first encounter with Miss Manette back in chapter 4 of book 1. She is very protective of and devoted to Miss Manette, and it is evident in the conversation between her and Mr. Lorry that she loves Lucie more than anything and does not like to have to share her with anybody. • Lucie Manettedescribed as being the “golden thread” running through her father’s life and keeping him sane, also “everything turned upon her and revolved around her,” suggesting that her influence extends even beyond her father and encompasses all who come in contact with her, as she has the qualities that are commended in people including (but not limited to) innocence, kindness, and hope. • Charles Darnayappears to be courting Lucie. • Sydney Carton is still very moody.
Chapter events and their significance • Lucie and Dr. Manette are living in the English countryside. • Lorry and Miss Pross discuss the recent influx of suitors vying for Lucie’s attention and Dr. Manette’s recovery progress, which is not as far along as they would hope • At dinner, Darnay tells a story of a prisoner burying papers in the top-most room of the Tower (a big prison that was in Britain) and this story greatly disturbed Dr. Manette • It begins to rain heavily, Lucie makes a comment about how echos makes her think of the people who come and go in life, and Carton, who has recently stopped by for tea, insinuates that the sounds are the footsteps of hundreds of people, a mob even, and that he would accept them if they were to come trampling into his life. • Everything seems to be sunny and happy @ beginning of chapter • The chapter ends on a dark note, which foreshadows, along with Carton’s comments, the revolution to come, which will likely change all of their lives.
Lit Devices • The Golden Thread • Symbolism and Imagery Dickens refers to Lucie as the thread that unites her father with the present, not allowing him to dwell on his past, and this role is fully developed and described for the reader in this chapter as she takes care of her father and is responsible for their charmed life in Soho. “ …everything turned upon her and revolved about her…”(106) • “A multitude of people, and yet a solitude!”(106) • Juxtaposition This scene, right before the storm breaks, as people are swarming to find shelter, is important to the overall tone of the chapter, which grows darker and eerier as it moves along. This line could refer to ghosts, which in turn would be indicative of a pervasive death to come. • Rain • Symbolism and Foreshadowing “ ‘ The rain drops are still falling, large, heavy, and few,’ said Doctor Manette. ‘It comes slowly.’ ‘It comes surely,’ said Carton.”(106) In this quote rain is a symbol for revolution. It starts slowly and quietly, but once it starts it has the power to both cleanse(a light shower) and destroy (a hurricane).
Important Quote “What a night it has been! Almost a night, Jerry, to bring the dead out of their graves.” - Mr. Lorry This quote further explores the theme of resurrection and the capacity for human change in the novel: • Dr. Manette has awoken to care and happiness after 18 years in solitude. • Quote suggests that the backwardness of society can also be corrected because humans (and therefore their establishments) are adaptable.