How did Mr. Lorry show that he's a very conservative character with a sense of belonging to Tellson's Bank in "Tale of Two Cities"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although his "moist, bright eyes" reveal the fact that Mr. Lorry is indeed a man capable of deep emotion and feeling, he has, over the years, gone through "some pains to drill to the composed and reserved expression of Tellson's Bank".  He is impeccably dressed in a conservative brown suit, "pretty well worn, but very well kept", with "brown stockings fitted sleek and close...his shoes and buckles...though plain, (are) trim...and linen...as white as the tops of the waves that (break) upon the...beach".  His demeanor is "very orderly and methodical", and his face is "habitually suppressed and quieted" - he is in every aspect "a gentleman from Tellson's Bank". 

The errand on which Mr. Lorry has been sent is a very emotional one for him, and as he awaits his first meeting with Lucy Manette, whom he spirited to England many years ago, "his mind (is) busily digging, digging, digging, in the live red coals" of his memory.  Yet Mr. Lorry is careful to maintain a strictly factual and decorous manner when Miss Manette does arrive and he tells her the story of her father.  Mr. Lorry greets Lucy with "a formal bow", and declares repeatedly that he is "a man of business...(nothing) more than...a speaking machine".  As he tells his tale, however, his repeated insistence that this is, for him, simply "a matter of business", is obviously communicated as much to help him keep his dignity and compusure in a manner befitting an employee of the Bank as it is to calm the stunned Lucy Manette (Book the First, Chapter 4).

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A Tale of Two Cities

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