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Recalled To Life Summary Essay

The phrase “recalled to life” indicates that Mr. Lorry is bringing someone back from the dead.

Mr. Lorry is taking the Dover Mail on a special mission.  He works for Tellson’s Bank, but this is not exactly a banker’s duty that he is doing.  He is serving as a messenger. 

‘Wait at Dover for Mam’selle.’ It’s not long, you see, guard. Jerry, say that my answer was, RECALLED TO LIFE.” (Book 1, Ch. 2)

Jarvis Lorry...

The phrase “recalled to life” indicates that Mr. Lorry is bringing someone back from the dead.

Mr. Lorry is taking the Dover Mail on a special mission.  He works for Tellson’s Bank, but this is not exactly a banker’s duty that he is doing.  He is serving as a messenger. 

‘Wait at Dover for Mam’selle.’ It’s not long, you see, guard. Jerry, say that my answer was, RECALLED TO LIFE.” (Book 1, Ch. 2)

Jarvis Lorry was on the Dover Mail carriage that day because he went to Paris to visit a prisoner named Dr. Manette.  Dr. Manette was held prisoner in the Bastille for 18 years, but Jarvis Lorry had visited him, and new that he was alive.  Since Dr. Manette was alive, but had just been found, and just gotten out of prison, the message was “recalled to life,” which basically means that he was brought back from the dead. 

Jerry Cruncher, the messenger (jack of all trades) thinks that is a strange message.  It really is a strange message.  There is a revolution going on!  You cannot write in your message something specific, like, “Dr. Manette just got out of the Bastille and I found him alive, Yeah!”  You have to be more discrete than that.  You never know who might be watching.  Dr. Manette’s life is in danger.  He is in bad shape.  It is best that no one know.

In fact, Jarvis Lorry is worried about him.  You can tell this from the dream he has, where he takes his own metaphor and brings it to life.

“Buried how long?”

The answer was always the same: “Almost eighteen years.”

“You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?” (Book 1, Ch. 3)

In a way, Dr. Manette has been buried.  He has been locked away in a prison, where no one knew if he was alive or dead.  He does not even know his own daughter.  Jarvis Lorry is worried about how he will react to getting out.  He is worried about the man’s mental state.  As you will see, he is right to be worried.  The man practically is a ghost.

The New Yorker, October 31, 2005 P. 46

A NEUROLOGIST'S NOTEBOOK about Patricia H., a gallery manager and painter who suffered from aphasia (loss of language) after a stroke… In 1989 Pat's husband died of a heart attack. With her husband's death, she seemed stunned… a fixed melancholy descended on her… In January of 1991, she was found in a coma, a huge blood clot in the left half of her brain. Pat underwent surgery and entered a “chronic vegetative state,” which lasted two weeks. When she came to consciousness, she was paralyzed on the right side and she could no longer express her thoughts and feelings in words. Her understanding of speech was also impaired… “Aphasia” means, literally, as loss of speech. One person in three hundred may have lasting aphasia. Discusses the different forms of aphasia: expressive and receptive. If both are present, this is a “global” aphasia… Tells about early studies of aphasia by John Hughlings Jackson and Jacques Lordat. Patients suffering from aphasia may retain such intellectual powers as the ability to think logically, to plan and recollect. A feeling remains that aphasia is a sort of ultimate disaster, which, in effect, ends a person's inner life. Yet there are many activities-card games, shopping trips, sports-that do not require language and these can be used to draw aphasics into a social world… Writer tells about meeting Pat in 1991 when she came to Beth Abraham hospital, where he works. She could communicate through gestures, but she had very little speech. The inability to speak was for her far worse than her paralysis. A year later, I found Pat much improved. Many patients develop a remarkable compensatory heightening of other, non-linguistic powers and skills, especially the ability to “read” other people. While Pat could not speak, she could recognize individual words. She devised a sort of dictionary that she would leaf through to point to the words that were needed… By 1996 her receptive aphasia had almost disappeared-she was able to understand speech, but not able to express herself in language. When I asked her, in 1998, what her dominant mood was, she pointed to “happy.” Discusses the active involvement of her family, especially her daughters, in her recovery. Writer accompanies Pat on a shopping trip to Allerton Avenue in the Bronx. Tells about her buying a pair of boots. “Nothing has changed since her stroke,” her daughter said. “She has all her old loves and passions.”

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