A Tale of Two Cities

what paralle does dickens make between tellsons and england?


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If the court is an extension of British government, then Tellson’s Bank is representative of British culture and economics. Tellson’s lives up to just about every stereotype of stodgy, tweed-wearing British businessmen that you’ve ever gotten from watching the BBC. Here’s a sample of how Dickens describes it:

Tellson's Bank by Temple Bar was an old-fashioned place, even in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty. It was very small, very dark, very ugly, very incommodious. It was an old-fashioned place, moreover, in the moral attribute that the partners in the House were proud of its smallness, proud of its darkness, proud of its ugliness, proud of its incommodiousness. They were even boastful of its eminence in those particulars, and were fired by an express conviction that, if it were less objectionable, it would be less respectable. This was no passive belief, but an active weapon which they flashed at more convenient places of business. (2.1.1)