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Describe Mr. Jarvis Lorry's dress and physical appearance.A Tales of Two Cities by...

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lucykim208 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 31, 2010 at 12:23 PM via web

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Describe Mr. Jarvis Lorry's dress and physical appearance.

A Tales of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 31, 2010 at 3:54 PM (Answer #1)

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In Book the First, Chapter IV of A Tale of Two Cities Mr. Lorry arrives from the Dover coach and stays in the Royal George Hotel. As he enters the coffee-room, Mr. Lorry is described as a gentleman of sixty who is formally dressed in brown clothes that are somewhat worn, but

very well kept, with large square cuffs and large flaps to the pockets, passed along his way to his breakfast.

Neat and orderly in appearance, Mr. Lorry sits with a hand on each knee; his brown stockings fit well on his handsome legs of which he is proud; his shoes have neat buckles and trim.  On his head he wears a flaxen wig that is a bit odd, but his collar and cuffs are "as white as the tops of the waves that broke upon the neighbouring beach."  His face, so often controlled, holds a pair of bright eyes that Dickens describes humorously as having

cost their owner, in years gone by, some pains to drill to the composed and reserved expression of Tellson's bank.

His face appears healthy and bears little trace of anxiety.  All in all, Mr. Lorry seems to be the consummate man of business, neat and orderly in personal appearance and in mind.

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is00 | College Teacher | Honors

Posted January 1, 2011 at 5:35 PM (Answer #2)

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Mr.Jarvis Lorry is introduced in ch.1v,Book-1 of the novel 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens.He is a man in his mid-fifties,very refined,very sensitive and very responsible to his duties.His frequent utterences of the words'I am a businessman' is simply a paradox because whatever he does from the beginning to the end of the novel is not just 'business' activities.In truth he is the ' Guardian Angel' to the Manetts and Darney,and a helping hand to Carton and others.But in all activities, his dress and appearencehas played a very crucial role which ultimately helps shaping his inimitable character.

When we first meet him he is presented as a very orderly and methodical personality.In the words of the author-----"Very orderly and Methodical he looked,with a hand on each knee,and a loud watch ticking---ticking a sonorous sermon under his flaped waistcoat,as though it pitted its gravity and longevity against the levity and evanescence of the brisk fire.He had a good leg,and was a little vain of it,for his brown stokings fitted sleek and close ,and were of a fine texture :his shoes and buckles,too,though plain,were trim.He wore an odd little sleep crisp flaxen wig setting very close to his head; which wig ,it is to be presumed ,was made of hair, but which looked for more as though it were spun from filaments of silk or glass.His linen,though not of a fineness in accordance with his stockings,was white as the tops of the waves that broke upon the neighbouring beach, or the speaks of sail that glinted in the sunlight far at sea.''

Again, his appearence is narrated like---" A face habitually suppressed and quieted ,was still lighted up under the quaint wig by a pair of moist brought eyes ,that it must have cost their owner,in years goneby, some pains to drill to the composed and reserved expression of Tellson's Bank.He had a healthy colour in his cheeks ,and his face ,though lined,bore few tracts of anxiety.But perhaps the confidential bechelor clerks at Tellson's Banks were principally occupied with the cares of other people ; and perhaps second -hand cares,like second- hand clothes,came easily off and on."

Both these paragraphs are suggestive to the habitual orderliness and little vanity in Mr.Lorry's dress and appearence.His was a cleanly shaved determined face capacity to evoke confidence and reliability to each and every person who encountered him.His brown suit reveals the maturity and wisdom of his personality.

Both his dress and appearence are well balanced and significantly relevant to his role in the novel.

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