What is the subject of Jarvis Lorry's dream?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Book 1, Jarvis Lorry dreams of a man who has been buried alive and is being recalled to life (resurrected) but is worried about it.  In actuality, the man is Dr. Manetter, and he has been falsely imprisoned and just let out.

When Lorry retrieves Dr. Manette, the conversation echoes his dream.

Mr. Jarvis Lorry—sitting opposite the buried man who had been dug out, and wondering what subtle powers were for ever lost to him, and what were capable of restoration—the old inquiry:

“I hope you care to be recalled to life?”

And the old answer:

“I can’t say.” (Book 1, chapter 6)

Lorry knows that Dr. Manette is nervous about being brought back to life, which is really just a metaphor for being released from prison.  Lorry is aware of the potential dangers Dr. Manette will face when he returns to England.  His daughter will not know him, and he worries about his fragile mental state.  So when Lorry asks the ghost if it cares to be recalled to life, it isn’t sure.  Lorry is not sure Dr. Manette will be able to make the transition well, since he is so fragile mentally.


jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Jarvis Lorry takes Dr. Manette, newly released from prison, from France to England in a coach at the very end of the first book, Lorry has a dream in which the personified shadows of the night whisper to Lorry. They ask, "I hope you care to be recalled to life?" Then, there is the answer: "I can't say." This dream is a reference to Dr. Manette, who has long been held in prison in France, and to his chance for resurrection. Dr. Manette is referred to as "the buried man who has been dug out," and it is clear that he has died a kind of metaphorical death in which his faculties have become dull. He constantly toils at making shoes, and when asked his name, he answers, "One Hundred and Five, North Tower" (which is where he has been imprisoned). Jarvis Lorry wonders whether Dr. Manette wants to be restored to his old life and how he will fare in this new stage of his life.


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A Tale of Two Cities

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