A Tale of Two Cities


Book 2, Chapter 12

Once Stryver decides that he should marry Lucie, he does not even seem to consider whether she would want to marry him, but decides to go ahead and inform her of their impending nuptials.  On his way to the Manette household, Stryver stops at Tellson’s Bank to discuss his plans with Mr. Lorry.  Mr. Lorry seems aware that Lucie would not want to marry Stryver, so he offers to act as a go-between for Stryver and the Manettes.  Mr. Lorry goes to visit the Manettes, and when he returns from that visit, he discourages Stryver.  Stryver’s response suggests that he was not actually interested in Lucie, anyway. 

While the chapter does not provide any crucial action, it does serve to further illuminate the personality of some of the main characters.  Stryver never considers the possibility that Lucie would refuse his proposal. Mr. Lorry knows that Lucie and Stryver would be an ill-suited pair, but, while seeking to protect Lucie and Dr. Manette from the uncomfortable scenario of Stryver proposing to Lucie, also tries not to be callous about Stryver’s feelings.  Most importantly, while Darnay does not appear in the chapter, contrasting Stryver’s approach to Darnay’s approach highlights the differences between the two suitors.

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