In book II Chapter 6 What does the conversation between Miss Pross and Mr. Lorry reveal about their respective personalities and life histories?A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
In Chapter 6 of Book the Second, Dr. Manette has a "quiet lodging" on the corner of a street far from Soho-square. On a Sunday afternoon, the mild-mannered Mr. Lorry comes to dine with the Doctor. When Mr. Lorry, a symbol of England's middle-class virtue, enters and looks around and spots the Doctor's old workbench. His conversation with Miss Pross at first seems rather contentious:
"I should have thought--" Mr. Lorry began.
"Pooh! You'd have thought!" said Miss Pross; and Mr. Lorry left off.
"How do you do?" inquired that lady then--sharply, and yet as if to express that she bore him no malice.
Miss Pross is rather abrupt, but beneath her eccentric surface, she has a faithful heart that is totally devoted to her "Ladybird," Lucie Manette. In fact it is this "fidelity of belief" that causes Miss Pross to blame Mr. Lorry for the "hundreds of people" who come to the Manette house. When Mr. Lorry asks, "I began it, Mrs. Pross?" as the "safest remark" he can make, she replies, "Who brought her father to life?" Here, again, she lauches into statements that reflect her complete devotion to Lucy.
Clearly, Miss Pross with her "wild looks" and red hair overpowers Mr. Lorry, who is mild and diplomatic. But, Mr. Lorry understands that Miss Pross, while jealous, is very unselfish as she lives for her "Ladybird." She also is quite perceptive despite her curt remarks. For, in their conversation although Miss Pross professes to have no imagination, she perspicaciously understands Dr. Manette's delicate mental condition. Her treatment of such conditions is simply practical rather than sentimental, however--a trait that is accord with her being a servant just as Mr. Lorry's businesslike personality befits his middle-class stature.