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Which character makes a decision that results in destruction and pain    A Tale of...

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cwallace3211 | Middle School Teacher | eNoter

Posted September 11, 2011 at 1:14 AM via web

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Which character makes a decision that results in destruction and pain

 

 

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens 

 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 11, 2011 at 5:38 AM (Answer #1)

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One of the most infamous of characters in all of classical literature, Therese Defarge is the quintessential villain in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  As the surviving sister of the family that has  long been brutalized by the twins Evremonde, Madame Defarge vows vengeance upon them and theirs.  Into her cloth of death, Mme. Defarge records the names of the Marquis d'Evremonde, Charles Darnay, ne Evremonde, Gabelle his tax collector, Lucie Manette Darnay, wife of Charles, and their children, and her father, Alexandre Manette--the entire family.  When her husband, Ernest Defarge suggests that some mercy could be shown to Manette, she cruelly and coldly retorts,

"Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop...but don't tell me."

Defarge, a weak minority, interposed a few words for the memory of the compassionate wife of the Marquis; but, only elicited from his own wife a repetition of her last reply, "Tell the Wind and the Fire where to stop; not me!"

Even as she waits for the execution of Charles Darnay (not knowing that Carton has taken his place), the vengeful Mme. Defarge leaves her seat to seek Lucie and her children and personally kill them so that no one of the family remain.

Of course, Madame Defarge's personal vendetta is also responsible for some of the events of the French Revolution as she uses this revolt as the vehicle for her personal acts of revenge.  And, in her hatred for the Evremonde, she extends this enmity to all aristocrats and knits their names, too, into her cloth of death.

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