The Sun and The Rain
As Lucie Manette tangles herself into her loved ones lives through positive spirits, Madame Defarge weaves her path through the French aristocracy with malicious intent. The paths taken by these two strong-minded women in the novel A Tale of Two Cities exposes the two options people can take when catastrophes happen to good people. Often times the two paths that can be traveled consist of forgiveness and vengeance. The duality between the two paths can be characterized by Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge. Charles Dickens esquitestly ties the duality between Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge into the novel A Tale of Two Cities. The duality between Lucie and Madame Defarge can first be expressed by the selflessness of Lucie, in contrast to Defarge’s actions in which benefited predominantly herself. Furthermore, Lucie’s innocence throughout the novel versus Defarge’s brutality. Ultimately, Lucie’s passiveness when dealing with her peers and Defarge’s aggressiveness towards the aristocracy of France. Both Lucie and Madame Defarge convey each of the dualities with their own passions.
Lucie and Madame Defarge contrast through the expressions of selfless and egocentric actions. Naturally empathetic, Lucie's regular emotions are not just generated for herself but also for others, while Madame Defarge expresses self indulgence through her series of actions. Lucie attempts to better the life of anyone she can. This spirit to rejuvenate others is apparent in this excerpt, “Without [love], can I not save you, Mr. Carton? Can I not recall you-forgive me
again!-to a better course? Can I in no way repay you confidence? Can I turn it to no good account for yourself, Mr. Carton?” (200). Although this quote does accurately describe Lucie’s empathy for respecting Carton’s courage, the compassion and tone in which she speaks to Carton is of a loving nature, one which she has no obligation to give with the acknowledgement that he had done nothing for her at the time. Even so, Lucie still performed the action of rejecting Carton’s advances in the most caring and admirable fashion possible. To the contrary of Lucie, Madame Defarge displays not only an obvious sense of self-seeking vengeance but also an independent mindset that contrasts herself to the extroverted Lucie. Her self- centered approach to life is seen when speaking to her posse, “My husband has not my reason for pursuing this family to annihilation, and I have not his reason for regarding this Doctor with any sensibility. I must act for myself, therefore” (477). Madame's selfishness is coherently visible in the excerpt, accounting for the fact that she sought to murder an entire family lacking blood relation to her enemies, solely to get vengeance for her past. While Lucie coveys herself in a selfless manner and Madame Defarge in a self-indulgent perspective, they can both relate back to the parallel of passiveness and aggressiveness.
How a character in a novel responds to a situation...