In Book the Second, Chapter I of A Tale of Two Cities, Jerry refers to himself as a/an...? Apparently, this becomes Jerry's epithet. I don't really know what he refers to himself as and I'm kind...

In Book the Second, Chapter I of A Tale of Two Cities, Jerry refers to himself as a/an...? 

Apparently, this becomes Jerry's epithet. I don't really know what he refers to himself as and I'm kind of confused by this question. Thanks!

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Jerry Cruncher, a character who provides comic relief in Charles Dickens's somber tale of people swept up in the French Revolution, calls himself "an honest tradesman."  During the day, Jerry is an "odd-jobs-man" for Tellson's Bank; however at night he is connected with some activity that causes his shoes to become muddy with clay. Obviously, there is something that causes Mrs. Cruncher spiritual anxiety because she prays for Jerry. When he scolds her, she replies,

"I was only saying my prayers....I was not praying against you; I was praying for you."

This concern of Mrs. Cruncher reminds the reader of the comments of Jerry in Book the First, Chapter I, as he leaves the coach containing Mr. Lorry with a strange message: "Recalled to life." So perplexed is Jerry by Mr. Lorry's message that he scratches his head and rides some distance before saying:

"No, Jerry, no!...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!" 

Further in this chapter in the description of Mr. Cruncher, he is found listening to the trial and licking the rust off his fingers which he must have acquired during the night when his boots become muddy.  These actions serve as foreshadowing for evidence against the man who accuses Roger Cly of not being dead.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,985 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question