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What is Jerry Cruncher's secret night time activity that reinforces an important theme...

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k-mc | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 5, 2013 at 1:25 AM via web

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What is Jerry Cruncher's secret night time activity that reinforces an important theme of A Tale of Two Cities?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 5, 2013 at 3:58 AM (Answer #1)

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A character who provides comic relief, Jerry Cruncher calls himself "a resurrection man." For, he "resurrects" dead bodies from their graves and sells them for the experimentation of medical students. This occupation of Jerry's is suggested early in the narrative when he brings a message and is told to say "Recalled to Life" by Mr. Lorry in Chapter III of Book the First.

“No, Jerry, no!” said the messenger, harping on one theme as he rode. “It wouldn’t do for you, Jerry. Jerry, you honest tradesman, it wouldn’t suit your line of business! Recalled—! Bust me if I don’t think he’d been a drinking!”

After his night time activities this "honest tradesman" sleeps, to his waking irritation, his wife prays. When he awakens, Jerry angrily, but humourously calls her "aggerwater!" and terms her praying "flopping," contending that she brings him bad luck because when Jerry exhumes the coffin of Roger Cly, he finds it empty. Later in the narrative, this discovery proves important to Sydney Carton, who becomes a real "resurrection man," redeeming himself through his unselfish self-sacrifice to save Charles Darnay..

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