Madame Defarge In A Tale Of Two Cities

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“Hate destroys the hater” (Martin Luther King Jr.). In the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, the two most malicious, vengeful and barbarous characters are Madame Defarge and the Marquis St. Evremonde. The pair were both inhabitants of the French town of San Antoine; he is an aristocrat and she is a citizen and a revolutionary. Madame Defarge and the Marquis have a unique history; one that is dark and cruel, heart-rendering and acrimonious. Though they have their differences, this sinister duo have a relatable story. It is not uncommon to see them drop their innocent facade and demolish everything pure and good in the world. The consequences of their actions caught up with them, eventually leading to the death of both the Marquis…show more content…
Several chapters of the novel paint a picture of a harsh aristocracy that shamelessly exploits and maltreats the nation’s public. As the Marquis returns from a meeting with the Monseigneur, he barrels through the streets at break-neck speed. Most of the pedestrians scatter, but the carriage runs over a small child, who happens to be the son of a citizen named Gaspard. The Marquis shows little remorse over the death of the child, instead deciding to toss a small coin into the street for the grieving man. Before he turns to leave, the coin is thrown back into the coach, provoking an outburst from the nobleman. “You dogs!’...’I would ride over any of you very willingly, and exterminate you from the earth. If I knew which rascal threw at the carriage, and if that brigand were sufficiently near it, he should be crushed under the wheels” (115). There is no justification for the actions committed during this scene, as one of the coachmen or himself could have prevented the unfortunate event from occurring. The Marquis bears an impenetrable aura of senseless, yet limitless violence, whereas the violence done by the Madame is well planned, well executed, but still truly limitless “Well, well’ reasoned Defarge, ‘but one must stop somewhere. After all the question is still where?...At extermination’, said the madame” (343). Madame Defarge, if she could, would never end the violence of the revolution, as the idea of “extermination” has become an all consuming and unjust undertaking. Her wrath is reinforced by her past, adding to the fire trickling inside her as she disposes of villainous aristocrats. By trying to fix the violence of her childhood years with violence, she does nothing but create more violence in the world. These two virtually soulless people would stop at
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