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Dynamic Characters In A Tale Of Two Cities

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Dynamic Characters in A Tale of Two Cities

The English novelist, Charles Dickens, is one of the most popular writers in the history of literature. During his life, he wrote many books, one of them being A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens uses many dynamic characters in this novel. Dynamic characters or, characters that drastically change, play a very important role in the novel A Tale of Two Cities.

Towards the beginning of the novel, Jerry Cruncher's actions are rather disturbing. Mrs. Cruncher is very religious and is always praying. Jerry constantly refers to her praying as flopping and unnatural, even though she says her prayers "only come from the heart. . . . they are worth no more than that "(49). He does not put up with her flopping and even abuses and criticizes her when she chooses to pray. "I won't be prayed again

, I tell you. I can't afford it. I'm not a going to be made unlucky by your sneaking. If you must go flopping yourself down, flop in favour of your husband and child, and not in opposition to 'em" (49). Jerry Cruncher has a secret second occupation that no one knows about. He is a body snatcher and hides this from his family and everyone else. When Mr. Lorry finds out about this, he is very disappointed and says, "My mind misgives me much, that you have used the respectable and great house of Tellson's as a blind, and that you have had an unlawful occupation of an infamous description" (286). At the end of the story, Jerry Cruncher makes two vows to Miss Pross. One of them is that he will never interfere with his wife's praying. He says, "and let my words be [taken] down and [taken] to Mrs. Cruncher through yourself--that wot my opinions respectin' flopping have undergone a change, and that wot I only hope with all my heart as Mrs. Cruncher may be a flopping at the present time" (340). The other promise he made to Miss Pross is that he will give up body snatching.

Another dynamic character in A Tale of Two Cities is Dr. Alexander Manette. Before Dr. Manette went to the Bastille, he is a "young physician, originally an expert surgeon, who within the last year or two has made a rising reputation in Paris" (298). When the reader met Dr. Manette for the first time, much of is memory is forgotten and he is very weak. At this point in the story he is out of the Bastille and cobbling shoes in a garret in Paris. "The task of recalling him from the vacancy into which he always [sinks] when he [speaks], [is] like recalling some very weak person from a swoon, or endeavoring, in the hope of some disclosure, to stay the spirit of a fast-dying man" (37). With the help and love of his daughter and family friend, Mr. Lorry, "[t]he energy which had at once supported him [Dr. Manette] under his old sufferings and aggravated their sharpness, [has] been gradually restored to him. He [is] now a very energetic man indeed, with great firmness of purpose, strength of resolution, and vigour of action" (120). Even though Dr. Manette's life will never be the same as it was before he entered the Bastille, his memory is back to normal and he is now able to talk about his past. He overcomes many obstacles in this novel, changing him drastically.

Sydney Carton is an example of a dynamic character. "I [Sydney Carton] am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me,"


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