What effect does Madame Defarge have on Lucie when the Defarges visit Lucie's apartment?Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities
In Book the Third of A Tale of Two Cities, Lucie arrives in Paris and Mr. Lorry decides that she must stay in an apartment so as to not compromise Tellson's Bank as haboring the wife of a prisoner of LaForce. When Defarge brings a note for Mr. Lorry from Dr. Manette, Mr. Lorry takes Lucie and her child with him. The Defarges accompany him, with Madame Defarge insisting that she be able to recognize their faces for "their safety."
When they arrive at the apartment, Lucie is alone, crying. Lucie mistakenly believes thatMadame Defarge, who symbolically recommences her kinitting, is an angel of mercy. Kissing "the hand that knits," she begs her to be merciful to her husband, yet there is so much coldness in the hand that she kisses that Lucie is given "a check." Madame Defarge's only reply to Lucie is an impassive stare and these words, “is it likely that the trouble of one wife and mother would be much to us now?”
After the Defarges leave, Lucie says, “That dreadful woman seems to have thrown a shadow on me and on all my hopes.” And, although Mr. Lorry tries to reassure Lucie,“in his secret mind,” he is extremely worried. Certainly, it is at this crucial point in the plot that the sinister Madame Defarge has virtually invaded Lucie's psychological space as well as her physical space. For, not only has she ascertained where Lucie dwells, Madame Defarge also has caused Lucie great consternation and discomfiture.