Firstly I love the image of money being stowed away in worm-eaten drawers at the bank. I think it’s a rare thing now for people to carry cash and I like the idea of people gong to get it and put it into a dusty bank where everything is old and dark and it seems like the whole experience might encourage you to save rather than spend.
Mr Cruncher doesn’t seem to have much money and maybe seeing the daily interactions at the bank has gone some way to fueling his paranoia and depression of having little money. His house is kept clean, presumably by his wife, and yet he is convinced that she is praying against him and this will have financial consequences for him.
He does get a job though, as a messenger for Mr Lorry, who we last saw five years ago.
The description of the prison as a breeding ground for diseases is very vivid and believable. In some ways it reminds me of modern reporting of outbreaks within hospitals and in some ways the sprinkling of herbs and vinegar on the floors seems as futile as the containers of antibacterial hand-gel every three feet.
Narrating the trial from Mr Cruncher’s point of view is good as this way we don’t know anything about it other than that the crime is treason. This builds up suspense which is enhanced by the questioning of the other character and Mr Cruncher’s responses that he is “blest if [he] knows”.
The narration of the trial is very realistic and is probably based on Dickens’ experience of working as a Court notetaker.
I also enjoyed the repeated mentions of patriotism which I found ironic to have been in this week’s part when we have had the Jubilee celebrations.