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Why does Ms.Defarge put a rose in her hair in A Tale of Two Cities?

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jul153 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 9, 2009 at 6:22 AM via web

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Why does Ms.Defarge put a rose in her hair in A Tale of Two Cities?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:03 AM (Answer #1)

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In A Tale of Two Cities, what's happening in and around Paris is the beginning of a revolution.  It starts as an underground movement, very secretive and exclusive, centered at the Defarges' wine shop.  In order to keep the circle small (until the right time, of course), it's important for them to have signals and signs which outsiders would not know.  The rose is  one of them.  When she places the flower in her hair, the others in the room know what to do--just as they do when she makes the slightest clearing of her throat or when her husband refers to fellow revolutionaries as Jacques.  In the case of the rose, she is warning the her fellow underground soldiers to leave the shop.

Lori Steinbach

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