Chapter 1: The Period: Takes place: England and France in 1775. Age marked by competing and contradictory attitudes. The antithesis describes the difference in conditions between rich and poor. but it's purpose in the text is to give historical context about the period and also explain the setting of where this story would take place to give you an idea of "what world" you are entering.In
England, a popular paranormal phenomena in the form of “the Cocklane ghost,” and the messages that a colony of British subjects in America has sent to King George III. France, on the other hand, witnesses excessive spending and extreme violence, a trend that anticipates the erection of the guillotine. Chapter 2: The Mail: On a Friday night in late November of 1775, a mail coach goes from London to
Dover. Journey proves so treacherous that the 3 passengers must dismount from the carriage and hike alongside it as it climbs a steep hill. From out of the great mists, a messenger on horseback appears and asks to speak to the passenger Jarvis Lorry of Tellson’s Bank. The travelers react warily, fearing that they have come upon a highwayman or robber. Mr. Lorry, however, recognizes the messenger’s voice as that of Jerry Cruncher, the oddjob man at Tellson’s, and accepts his message. The note that Jerry passes him reads: “Wait at Dover for Mam’selle.” Lorry instructs Jerry to return to Tellson’s with this reply: “Recalled to Life.” Confused and troubled by the “blazing strange message,” Jerry rides on to deliver it. Chapter 3: The Night Shadow: Lorry, as he rides on in the mail coach with two strangers, constitutes a case in point. Dozing, he drifts in and out of dreams, most of which revolve around the workings of
Tellson’s bank. Still, there exists “another current of impression that never cease[s] to run” through
Lorry’s mind—the notion that he makes his way to dig someone out of a grave. He imagines repetitive conversations with a specter, who tells Lorry that his body has lain buried nearly 18 years. Lorry informs his imaginary companion that he now has been “recalled to life” and asks him if he cares to live. He also asks, cryptically, “Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?” The ghost’s reaction to this question varies, as he sometimes claims that he would die were he to see this woman too soon; at other times, he weeps and pleads to see her immediately. Chapter 4: The Preparation: The next morning, Lorry descends from the coach at the Royal George
Hotel in Dover. After shedding his travel clothes, he emerges as a welldressed businessman of sixty.
That afternoon, a waiter announces that Lucie Manette has arrived from London. Lorry meets the
“short, slight, pretty figure” who has received word from the bank that “some intelligence—or discovery” has been made “respecting the small property of my poor father . . . so long dead.” After reiterating his duties as a businessman, Lorry relates the real reason that Tellson’s has summoned Lucie to Paris.
Chapter 5: The Wineshop: Setting shifts from Dover, England to Saint Antoine, a poor suburb of
Paris. A wine cask falls to the pavement in the street and everyone rushes to it. Men kneel and scoop up the wine that has pooled in the paving stones, while women sop up the liquid with handkerchiefs and wring them into the mouths of their babies. 1 man dips his finger into “muddy winelees” and scribble the word blood on a wall.Wine shop is owned by Monsieur Defarge, a “bullnecked, martiallooking man of thirty.” His wife, Madame Defarge, sits solemnly behind counter, watchful of everything that goes on around. She signals to her husband as he enters wine shop, alerting him to the presence of an elderly gentleman and a young lady. Defarge eyes strangers (Lorry and Lucie) but pretends not to notice them, speaking instead with 3 familiar customers, each whom refers to the other 2 as “Jacques”
(code name that identifies