I need a character sketch of some characters of A Tale of Two Cities.please I need four characters and  a quote that best describes that characters of A Tale of Two Cities.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Dickens does not develop his character in A Tale of Two Cities as well as he does in his other novles, he has created some memorable ones such as Sydney Carton and the infamous Madame DeFarge.  Here is what the reader reader about some:

1.  Jarvis Lorry - An unobtrusive elderly "man of business" dressed in brown, who is the representative of Tellson's Bank, Mr. Lorry is shrewd, capable, and mild-mannered  Whie reserved, he is fiercely loyal to the Mannette family, kind to the doctor and fatherly towards Lucie.  Parallels are drawn between him and Dr. Manette as Mr. Lorry is practically a prisoner in the dark confines of Tellson's while Dr. Manette has been imprisoned in the Bastille for fourteen years.  As the agent of the bank, Mr. Lorry travels between London and Paris, the two cities of the narrative.

A face, habitually suppressed and quieted, was still lighted up under the quaint wig by a pair of moist gright eyes that it must their owner, in years gone by some pains to drill to the composed and reserved expression of Tellson's Bank.  He had a healthy colour in his cheeks, and his face, though lined, bore few traces of anxiety....[Chapter 4, Book the First]

2.  Madame Defarge - One of the great villains of literature, she is the sister of the girl ravished and the brother who defended her who were killed by the twins Evremonde.  She lives solely for revenge against them and all their class (the aristocrats) as the source of the evil which caused her family's deaths.  Much like a natural force, Madame Defarge bides her time, "seeing, but not seeing," as methodically and relentlessly she knits, the names of those to be killed.  This knitting, thus, represents her urge to retaliate, as well as her deadly patience.  She is both a personage in the narrative and a symbolic character as she represents the blood thirst and vitrolic intensity of the French Revolution.

Madame Defarge was a stout woman...with a watchful eye that seldom seemed to look at anything, a large hand heavily ringed, a steady face, strong feature, and great composure of manner.  There was a character about Madame Defarge, from which one might have predicated that she did not often make mistakes against herself in any of the reckonings over which she presided.  Madame Defarge being sensitive to cold, was wrapped in fur....[Chapter 5, Book the First]

3.  Jerry Cruncher- A character who provides comic relief with his spiked hair that a frog would fear jumping over, Jerry is the messenter for Mr. Lorry at Tellson's Bank.  His anger over his wife's "flopping as she prays for him in her knowledge of his nightly outlings after which he returns with muddied boots and his euphemistic naming himself "a resurrection mans" skewers the them of resurrection into a ghastly parody.  Still, Jerry figures seriously into the plot as he is instrumental in Sydney Carton's admission into Charles Darnay's cell after he learns of the identity of the spy called John Barsad.

He had eyes that assorted very well with that decoration [his hat], being of a surface black, with no depth in the colour or form, and much too near together--as if they were afraid of being found out in something, singly, if they kept too far apart.  They had a sinister expression, ....Except on the crown, which was raggedly bald, he had stiff, black hair, standing jaggedly all over it, and growing down-hill almost to his broad, blunt nose.  It was so like smith's work, so much more like the top of a strongly spiked wall than a head of hair, that the best of players at leap-frog might have declined him, as the most dangerous man in the world to go over. [Chapter 3, Book the First]


4.  The Marquis St. Evremonde - A stock villain, the cynical, polished rake, Evremonde is a crude class-symbol and exemplifies the predatory and sang-froid nature of the aristocrats.  He is the cause of the tragedy of Madame DeFarge's family and of Dr. Manette's, a witness of the cruel deed.  Now, however, he has no influence at Court and is viciously frustrated.  Symbolic of his cold brutality the Gorgon's head on the chateau surveys all the property of the Marquis.

He was a man of about sixty, handsomely dressed, haughty in manner, and with a face like a fine mask.  A face of a transparent paleness; every feature in it clearly defined; one set expression on it.  The nose beautifully formed otherwise, was very slightly pinched at the top of each nostril.  In those two compressions, or dints, the only little change that the face ever showed, resided....[Chapter7, Book the Second]

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A Tale of Two Cities

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