How is the theme "As a force of nature, love is stronger than hate" emphasized throughout A Tale of Two Cities?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a very discernible illustration of the power of love over hate in his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens depicts the struggle between Miss Pross, who defends her "ladybird" against the vengeful Madame Defarge who wishes to kill her because she is part of the Evremonde family, a family she holds responsible for the death of her brother.  At the first of this struggle, Miss Pross declares, " shall not get the better of me.  I am an Englishwoman."  Then, with "the vigorous tenacity of love, always so much stronger than hate," Dickens writes, Miss Pross lifts Madame Defarge from the floor; tearing at her face, Miss Pross holds her down "with more than the hold of a drowning woman."  Stil, Madame Defarge manages to draw her gun.  But. Miss Pross sees the weapon, and, striking at it she gets ahold of the weapon and fires it, deafening herself in the process, but surviving, nonetheless, as she kills her assailant.

That love triumphs over the forces of hate is also evident in many a section of Dickens's novel:

  • Lucy's love for her father, along with Mr. Lorry's warmth and love for Dr. Manette, serve to get the doctor to conquer his fearful obsession with cobbling. 
  • Charles Darnay returns to France in order to defend  Gabelle the steward of his uncle's estate, and he manges to clear Gabelle's name.
  • Mr. Lorry becomes a friend of the family and is able to protect them while he and they are in France during such turbulent times. 
  • The ultimate act of love--the penultimate sacrifice--is that of Carton's taking the place of Charles Darnay in prison after he has been denounced by the Defarges. Carton exhibits true Christian love:  "There is no greater love than than to lay down one's life for another." (John15:13)  As a result of Carton's heroic sacrifice, Charles Darnay and his family are free to return to England. 

Indeed, love is stronger than hate as a force of nature in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. 

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A Tale of Two Cities

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