Jeremy Keeshin A Tale of Two Cities – Character Examination: Jerry Cruncher In A Tale of Two Cities the character Jerry

(fully Jeremiah) Cruncher is a multidimensional tradesman, honest to some, but truly not, as well as a conscientious father and self-conscious individual. He is first introduced to the reader in the second chapter entitled The Mail. He is a messenger who is delivering a note to the banker from Tellson’s named Jarvis Lorry. The first line we hear uttered by Jerry is, “Is that the Dover mail?” (Dickens 6). This doesn’t really give us insight into Jerry’s character, but the next chapter does. In chapter 3 called The Night Shadows we learn of Jerry’s physical appearance, described as “raggedly bald, he had stiff, black hair, standing jaggedly all over it, and growing downhill almost to his broad, blunt nose” (Dickens 10). Later his spiky hair is emphasized by the next passage saying “that the best players at leap-frog might have declined him, as the most dangerous man in the world to go over” (Dickens 10). He appears to have a striking character, or at least in his hair. An interesting attribute of the specimen Jerry Cruncher is that he talks to himself. He condemns himself for attempting to drink in chapter 3. As he says, “No Jerry, no!” (Dickens 10). He seems, at this juncture, not the smartest person ever; in the way he is so bewildered by this message that he delivered. He has an interesting way of thinking out loud to himself. We learn much more about his character later in chapter 14 called The Honest Tradesman. In a chapter dedicated solely to him, we learn into his other occupation and his family life. In his further dialogue with his son we see that he has some speech impediment or something of the sort because he talks with a different manner. As he says, “What d’ye mean? What are you hooroaring at? What do you want to

Jeremy Keeshin conwey to your own father, you young Rip? This boy is getting too many for me!” (Dickens 139). We see he at least talks with a different style than that of the norm. The most fascinating part of his character, however, is the fact that he is a “fisherman,” or more accurately titled, a resurrection-man; one who digs up bodies to sell to scientists. This is the reason that his boots are clean at night, but then dirty again in the morning. In his “fishing” line of work, he “opened a locked cupboard, and brought forth a sack, a crowbar of convenient size, a rope and chain, and other fishing tackle of that nature” (Dickens 144). The tools that he uses in this job suggest that it is shady. We learn more from his son also in the fact that he followed him. This shows that his son wanted to be like him. As the son asks, “May I go with you, father?” (Dickens 143). The denied response leads him into following and later into questioning and aspiring to be a resurrection-man. His quarrel with his wife also shows more into his character as how he is trying to get by. Jerry Cruncher is definitely an intriguing character because of the many facets of his work and the many components of his personality.