Wednesday, December 28, 2005

BOOK CLUB - Character Listing

As the characters become more complex and interwoven, I thought it might be good to make a list, to be updated as I read the novel, to keep the characters straight. Hopefully it is of help. CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES!

NB: French abbreviations:

Monsieur - M. - English: Mister
Madame- Mme. - English: Ms. or Mrs.
Mademoiselle - Mlle. - English: Miss

Mr. Jarvis Lorry (Alias: none)

         An elderly bachelor (appx. 60 yrs) in the employ of Tellson's Bank, between London and Paris. While a business-minded fellow, his heart is softer and better than he makes it out to be. He is friend to Doctor and Miss Manette, and his footman is Jerry Cruncher.

Dr. Manette (Alias: M. Manette)

         An elderly man (appx. 60 yrs) who was imprisoned for 18 years in France due to circumstances which are revealed gradually in the course of the novel. He survives his wife, who died during his captivity, and after his release lives with his daughter, Miss Lucie Manette in London. They are friends with Mr. Lorry, aquainted with Mr. Darnay and Mr. Carton, and are served by Miss Pross.

Miss Lucie Manette (Alias: Mlle. Manette)

         "A golden-haired doll," the beautiful and loyal daughter of Doctor Manette, whose striking beauty captures the attention of both Mr. Darnay and Mr. Carton. Her faithful maidservant is Miss Pross, who raised her after her mother's death.

Mr. Charles Darnay (Alias: M. Charles; M. d'Evremonde)

         Introduced on trial for treason, it comes out later (Book Two, Chapter Nine) that Darnay is a French aristocrat by birth, the son of the once-Marquis d'Evremonde, now dead. Darnay promised his mother on her death bed to make amends for his father's wicked ways; he is inhibited, however, by his uncle - his father's twin - the new Marquis d'Evremonde, who is a tyranical French lord.

Mr. Syndney Carton (Alias: none)

         An alchoholic jackal in the British court, Carton is a pitiable and weakwilled man who lacks ambition and spends his life in a type of servitude to others for no reason other than his own apathy. Dickens paints him as the most complex, confusing, and interesting character of the novel when he is introduced in the first part of Book Two. Carton bears a striking resemblance to Charles Darnay.

M. Marquis d'Evremonde (Alias: none)

         A French lord, called Monseigneur by his subjects, he is the twin brother of Charles Darnay's deceased father, and the current executor of the Evremonde estate. He is a heartless and wicked man, much like Darnay's father had been, who hardly thinks twice when his carriage runs over a small boy near M. Defarge's wineshop in Saint-Antoine. The boy's father, however, a "tall man," does not forget as easily...

Gabelle (Alias: none)

         One of the Marquis' subjects, he is often forced to carry out orders on behalf of Monseigneur, such as collecting taxes, which can be unpopular among the other peasantry.

M. Defarge (Alias: Jacques)

         M. Defarge is a wineshop owner in Saint-Antoine, and a powerful influence among his fellow poor citizens. He was once in the employment of Dr. Manette before the latter's imprisonment; it is from his care that the old man is taken back to England after his release. Defarge had previously been "showing" the old Doctor to some fellow peasants, for undisclosed purposes, all of whom went by the name Jacques, for undisclosed reason.

Mme. Defarge (Alias: none)

         An enigmatic woman, Dickens says she "sees nothing," an ironic allusion to the fact that she appears to be consumed in her knitting but perceives everything around her, with a depth and precision unmatched by anyone, even her husband. Her constant knitting is a symbol for the mechanism of her mind, which is forever spinning plots and advices to plant in the ear of M. Defarge.

Miss Pross (Alias: none)

         The Manette's faithful housekeeper, equally dependable for providing comic relief.

Mr. Jerry Cruncher (Alias: none)

         A mysterious figure with an unmentionable nightlife, he serves as a messenger for Tellson's bank. His wife prays against his dark doings, which his son, Jerry Jr., is always trying to uncover.



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