"Recalled to Life" is the return message that Jerry Cruncher, the carrier on horseback, returns with from the Dover stage one foggy night. On this stage is Mr. Lowry of Tellson's Bank, a representative who sojourns to Paris, but he has been told to "wait at Dover for Mam'selle." Jerry's urgent message reaches Mr. Lowry just before he embarks upon the boat to Calais, France, across the English Channel from which he will again take a coach.
It is a mysterious message, indeed, that Mr. Lorry gives Jerry to carry back to the bank--"recalled to Life," and he puzzles over its import as he rides back to London,
"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 [Mr. Lowry] been a drinking!"
This phrase, "recalled to life," becomes a motif in Dickens's novel of dualities; moreover, it is involved in one of the ironic twists near the end of the novel as Jerry's secret profession to which he alludes in his remark on his ride to London becomes an important clue to solving one mystery. Also, two main characters are recalled to life: one physically is brought back to the world he once knew. Dr. Manette is released from the Bastille after fourteen years when the peasants stage a rebellion at the incipience of the French Revolution; the other is resurrected spiritually. Sydney Carton, a dissolute barrister, awakens his soul with love Lucie Manette and her family and maintains a friendship with the man of sterling character, Jarvis Lowry. Because of his great love for Lucie, he sacrifices his own life so that her husband Charles may live; thus, he is resurrected spiritually--recalled to eternal life--in his offering of himself.