Round Characters In A Tale Of Two Cities

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The development of complex, round characters is a vital part of any story. Characters that are diverse, elaborate, and intricate are essential in making a story more interesting and enjoyable to the reader. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is an example of a fantastic novel that lacks this particular element. Though Dickens is often praised for writing a memorable novel that explores the injustices of the French Revolution while also establishing several underlying themes through the use of literary devices, he is validly criticized for the absence of character development in the central characters of the novel. Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette, and Madame Defarge are three such characters who do not undergo any change throughout the course…show more content…
In her case, she is unrealistically evil. First, Madame Defarge lacks sympathy. When Lucie begs for Madame Defarge to show mercy and compassion towards Darnay, Madame Defarge coldly responds, “Is it likely that the trouble of one wife and mother would be much to us now?” (Dickens 249). Madame Defarge completely dismisses Lucie, denoting her utter lack of sensitivity towards anyone associated with her enemies and making it clear that she only feels hatred and animosity towards them. In addition, Madame Defarge harbors intense feelings of vengeance towards the aristocrats, especially the Evrémondes. Madame Defarge confesses, “I was brought up among the fishermen of the seashore, and that peasant family so injured by the two Evrémonde brothers, is my family,” revealing her reasoning for the collective guilt she forces onto Darnay and his family (Dickens 313). Her vengeance fuels the revolution. She feels that she must execute all aristocrats, especially the remaining descendants of the Evrémondes, even though they had nothing to do with the horrible deeds the Evrémonde brothers had committed. Furthermore, Madame Defarge is excessively bloodthirsty. When her husband wonders when she will stop the revolution, she replies, “At extermination,” referring to the mass execution of the aristocratic class (Dickens 312). This ruthless and savage ambition to…show more content…
Charles Darnay, Lucie Manette, and Madame Defarge are clear examples of this: Charles is the archetypal hero who embodies virtue and morality, Lucie is a divine woman who is the epitome of love, grace, and purity, and Madame Defarge is a vengeful and brutal revolutionary who symbolizes the chaos of the French Revolution. This major flaw that is present throughout the book is a key to comprehending that even literary works that are considered “classics” can be
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