What reason does Jerry Cruncher give to convince Mr. Lorry that it would not be fair of him to fire Jerry from his Tellson's Bank job just because he is a grave robber in A Tale of Two Cities?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Jarvis Lorry is annoyed that Jerry Cruncher might not be living up to Tellson’s good name.  He accuses Lorry of having an “unlawful occupation of an infamous description” (Book 3, Ch 9, enotes etext p.196).  Lorry is annoyed when he finds out that Jerry Cruncher works as a grave robber.  Cruncher, however, sets him straight.

 “I hope, sir,” pleaded the abashed Mr. Cruncher, “that a gentleman like yourself‚ wot I’ve had the honour of odd jobbing till I’m grey at it, would think twice about harming of me, even if it wos so—I don’t say it is, but even if it wos. And which it is to be took into account that if it wos, it wouldn’t, even then, be all o’ one side. There’d be two sides to it.  (p. 196)

Cruncher’s point is that if he had a steady job he would not have to make ends meet with side gigs like grave robbing.  Doctors and bankers that have honest trades can hardly look down on a man that has to make ends meet because he only gets odd jobs.

 

Lorry is reasonably subdued by this, and tells Cruncher to “say no more” (p. 196).  He will continue to be friends with him.

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