Tale Of Two Cities Charictarization Essay Research — страница 5

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the world. With little talent for law, he pays the doomed but brilliant Carton to do his work for him. For the Stryvers of society, ambition and unscrupulousness count far more than skill. Dickens’ Stryver is one of the new men of industrialized Victorian England. Abhorring his progress in real life, Dickens renders him the butt of jokes and scorn in the novel: Stryver’s three adopted sons, though not of his flesh and blood, seem tainted by the mere connection. Dickens’ portrayal of Stryver as the man we love to hate seems rather one-sided. Does this make him a more memorable creation, or of limited interest? Notice how sharply Stryver is drawn in individual scenes–during his midnight work sessions with Carton, and in his conferences with Lorry about marrying Lucie. But

once Lucie is married, and Darnay returns to France, Stryver drops out of the story. His role as the object of Dickens’ satire is at an end. -JERRY CRUNCHER For some readers, spiky-haired Jerry Cruncher supplies an element of humor in an otherwise serious novel. Other readers claim that the Cockney odd-job man who beats his wife for “flopping” (praying) isn’t a particularly funny fellow. Cruncher’s after hours work is digging up newly buried bodies and selling them to surgeons, which may not seem a subject for comedy. But it does contribute, in two important ways, to A Tale’s development. Cruncher’s grave robbing graphically illustrates the theme of resurrection: he literally raises people from the dead. (Victorian grave robbers were in fact nicknamed

“resurrection men.”) One of the plot’s biggest surprises hinges on Cruncher’s failed attempt to unearth the body of Roger Cly, the spy who testified with John Barsad against Charles Darnay. In France, years after his graveyard expedition, Cruncher discloses that Cly’s coffin contained only stones and dirt. This information enables Sydney Carton to force Barsad, Cly’s partner, into a plot to save Charles Darnay’s life. As for Cruncher’s moral character, a brush with Revolutionary terror reforms him. He promises to make amends for his former “honest trade” by turning undertaker, burying the dead instead of raising them. In the last, tense pages of the novel, Cruncher’s vow, “never no more will I interfere with Mrs. Cruncher’s flopping,” finally strikes a

humorous chord. It’s darkly comic relief. 34e