Tale of Two Cities: French Revolution

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“’You’d be in a Blazing bad way, if recalling to life was to come into fashion, Jerry.’” (Pg. 21) From when Dr. Manette is released from imprisonment, to Carton’s last thoughts, resurrection is always present throughout the novel. A Tale of Two Cities describes the French Revolution, and how it impacted the lives of his main characters, including, Dr. Manette, Jerry Cruncher, and Sydney Carton. The theme of resurrection is a recurrent subject Dickens uses to show the transformation of his character’s lives, Jerry Cruncher and his ironic title, “Resurrection Man,” Dr. Manette’s, “recalled to life,” and Sydney Carton’s self sacrifice.

Throughout the book, Jerry Cruncher is referred to as a “Resurrection Man,” due to his trade of unearthing the dead, and further tainting his reputation of being an “honest tradesman.” Jerry goes on to be resurrected within his own life, undergoing a change of character, that ends with him renouncing his tradition of grave robbing, and vowing to be gentler with his wife. From our first encounter with Jerry Cruncher, he comes across as a sly, sneaky man, described as having eyes that were, “much too near together, as if they were afraid of being found out in something…” (Pg. 22) We know that although Jerry calls his nighttime adventures “fishing,” in reality he’s a grave robber, literally “fishing” for dead bodies. When given the opportunity to meet Mr. Lorry in Paris, Jerry decides to stay for the time being, and work as a messenger for Tellson’s Bank in France. While in the country, Cruncher witnesses Sydney Carton’s willingness to give up his own life for Darnay, and when he is faced with the harsh reality that he and Miss Pross may not make it out of Paris alive, he begins to regret his past decisions. Jerry Cruncher undergoes a full change of heart when he is confessing to Miss Pross everything he would do differently if they made it out of Paris, stating, “’First, them poor things well out o’ this, never no more will I do it,...
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