How are Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge different in A Tale of Two Cities?

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Lucie Manette and Madame Defarge really couldn't be more different. Lucie, Dr. Manette's devoted, loving daughter, is very much the kind of idealized female figure so beloved of Dickens and his Victorian readership. As well as being a dutiful daughter, she's also a helpmate to her husband. Lucie is presented to us as almost a ministering angel, uniquely able to dispel the blackest mood from her father's tortured mind. Though soft, courteous, and delicately feminine, she is also a very strong woman, able to keep things together in the midst of the most trying circumstances (of which there are many).

Madame Defarge, on the other hand, is one of the Revolution's many furies. In the hands of Lucie, knitting would be a perfectly normal, harmless distraction for respectable women. In the case of Madame Defarge, however, it's an expression of political extremism; she constantly beavers away, knitting the names of aristocratic victims of the Terror. If Lucie is presented as the ideal woman,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 553 words.)

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