In "A Tale Of Two Cities" what is the meaning of this quote: "with good eyes and a bold breadth between them"?"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This description comes from Book the First, Chapter Five of "A Tale of Two Cities" in which Dickens introduces the reader to Monsieur DeFarge, the wine-shop owner as he comes out into the street where a barrel of red wine has symbolically spilled onto the streets near the shop.  Dickens describes wine-shop keeper as a "bull-necked, martial-looking man...of hot temperament" since he wears no coat or hat on a "bitter" day.  His eyesight is keen and his eyes appear healthy, or "good."  They are wideset, with "a bold breadth between them" in contrast to characters who are weak or sly or unintelligent who are usually described by authors as narrow-eyed. 

With the first name of Ernest, deFarge proves to be earnest, or serious in intention, as he becomes a leader in the French Revolution.  While he does exploit his relationship as servant to Dr. Manette by allowing people to come and gawk at the once imprisoned wreck of a man, Manette, he is not interested in pursuing Lucie Manette and her family as is his vengeful wife. Strong, determined, and single-minded, Ernest DeFarge is representative of the peasantry who revolt against the decadent aristocracy of France.

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A Tale of Two Cities

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