charsles dickens essay

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Charles Dickens, an acclaimed author, wrote the notorious historical fiction novel, A Tale of Two Cities. This piece of work takes place during the French Revolution, a plotting and secretive time in history. The Revolution’s ideas of revenge and power play with many of the characters, yet some stay oblivious to it. Contrasting the lives of the characters, Charles Dickens shows how each are important to each other. Dickens’s theme of the opposites portrays the similarities and differences between Lucie Manette (Darnay) and Madame Defarge, revealed through their traits, goals, and relationships. Lucie Manette, the daughter of Dr. Manette, is loving, loyal, innocent, compassionate; all things good. Just good, all the time; Lucie is a static character in A Tale of Two Cities. She does not change, grow, prosper, or even decline. Lucie is all about nurturing life; taking care of her father. That is who she committed herself to, and loves unconditionally. Lucie is also known as the ‘golden thread’ in the novel. She binds many of the character’s lives together, for it is said, Like how she loves her father, she also loves her husband, Charles Darnay. Their partnership in marriage is just like Lucie’s character traits. They both love each other and are loyal to each other. Madame Defarge is the antithesis of Lucie Manette. She is a devious woman; the puppeteer of the French Revolution. Silent but deadly, the woman controls and executes the necessary factors of the prevalent happening in the book. Opposite of Lucie’s nurturing demeanor, Madame Defarge can be described as ruining and destroying life. Her observant qualities lend toward her favorite hobby, knitting; for she knits the people’s names into which she condemns to kill. Her ultimate goal is to overthrow the power of aristocracy. Her relationship with her husband, Monsieur Ernest Defarge, appears quite interesting. Madame Defarge seems the dominant partner in their relationship. I don’t know if you can quite call it love, but you can infer that she does care for her husband. It is very difficult to find similarities between these two characters; the constantly delicate wife and mother and evil manipulator. Lucie Manette and Defarge are both static characters, meaning, they remain the same. Chapter #3: quotes for similarities p. 273, 270
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