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Taking paradox in the broad sense as an apparent contradiction, Charles Dickens creates some paradoxical traits regarding the characters of A Tale of Two Cities. Here are some:
1. After Mr. Lorry receives the message "Recalled to Life" from the gravedigger Jerry Cruncher, he rides in the coach mentally questioning the dead man in his dream. Paradoxically Dickens converts the morbid into something spirited and purposeful.
2-3. Two of the most salient examples of paradox are in the chapters entitled "The Jackal" and "The Lion." A jackal is a small scavenger that feeds on what has been killed by another animal or has died. The paradox exists in that it is Sydney Carton who is brillant and makes the "kill" on the evidence that will favor a case on which he works, while C. J. Stryver is the scavenger who steals his brillant deductions and passes them off as his own. And, Stryver is hardly a lion; he commands no respect from others such as Mr. Lorry who is appalled by his pompous attitudes and his presumptions that Lucie Manette should consider him as a husband.
4-5. Miss Pross, Lucie's nurse, is so stern with those around her, but regarding her brother Solomon she can perceive no flaws when he is really a treasonous double-spy who has no contact with her. In additiom, she is the stereotypical stiff, short-tempered, masculine British nanny. But, she is tender and loving with Lucy, like a doting mother.
6. Madame Defarge, who "sees nothing" notes everything and knits the names of her revolutionary victims into her weaving.
7. Ernest Defarge seems to have a filial devotions to Dr. Mannette, having been his servant as a boy, yet he is not above exploiting the former prisoner of the Bastille's insanity as a spectacle to further the revolutionary cause.
8. In the Chapter entitled "Monseigneur," the wealthy aristocrat who has had command of an estate and many servants, etc., now requires several servants just to put the cup of chocolate to his mouth when he awakens in the morning.
9. Mr. Lorry, the "man of business," who contends that he has no feelings, is tender and loving to Lucie and Dr. Manette, becoming personally involved with the Manette family.
10. Sydney Carton, the man of no character who allows himself to be exploited, becomes the savior for Charles Darnay and the Manette family.
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