A Tale of Two Cities

by: Charles Dickens

Jarvis Lorry

Over the course of the novel, Jarvis Lorry develops from a purely pragmatic, business-like figure into an intensely loyal and devoted protector who becomes an extension of the Manette-Darnay family. When he first reunites with Lucie, Jarvis claims that “I had no feelings and that all relationships I hold with my fellow-creatures are mere business relations.” Lorry is certainly a devoted and diligent employee: when he decides to make a dangerous journey to Paris on behalf of the bank, he calmly explains “if I were not prepared to submit to a few inconveniences for the sake of Tellson’s, after all these years, who ought to be?” However, in contrast to his claims to be strictly concerned with business, Lorry shows great tenderness and loyalty to Lucie and her father. When Dr. Manette relapses after Lucie’s marriage, Lorry is very gentle and tactful in explaining what happened by pretending this is the case of a hypothetical patient. Indeed, in Carton’s final vision, he describes the end of Lorry’s life as “the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years’ time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward.” Jarvis Lorry exemplifies someone who lives according to principles and integrity in both his professional and personal life.