A Tale of Two Cities Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities book cover
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How does Dickens contrast the characters of Madame Defarge and Lucie Manette through associating thread and knitting with these characters?

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The second book in Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities is entitled The Golden Thread, which refers to Lucie Manette’s golden hair. This golden thread represents Lucie’s love for her father as well as Carton’s love for Lucie. Lucie is a figure of femininity, beauty, and compassion. Love is the chief motivator in her life. She is kind and gracious to everyone around her. She is also the chief motivator for Carton’s self sacrifices at the end of the novel.

Madame Defarge on the other hand is a forge in the revolution and she is constantly knitting the names of the enemies of the revolution. Madame Defarge is a symbol of coarseness, vengeance, and hatred. She seeks only revenge for the evils done to her family by the Evermonds, she has no compassion for anyone, not even for Dr. Manette who has also suffered. She would denounce him simply because of his connection to Darnay.

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